René Richard was born in Switzerland on December the 1st, 1895. He settled in Canada with his family in 1909. In 1926, he took his first painting and drawing lessons in Edmonton, and in 1927, he left for France to study painting in Paris. During his stay, he struck up a friendship with Clarence Gagnon who encouraged him to become a full-time artist. René Richard returned to Canada in 1930 and took up trapping once more. He returned from his long trips with hundreds of drawings. In 1942, he settled in Baie St-Paul and exhibited regularly in Québec City and Montreal. In 1952, Richard went back to the North. In 1967, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts presented a solo exhibition of his work, and ten years later, dedicated him a retrospective. He illustrated Menaud maître draveur, by Félix Antoine Savard. In 1980, René Richard donated many of his works to the Université Laval. At the end of his life, René Richard was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and in 1973, he received the Order of Canada. In 1982, the Baie St-Paul Art Center unveiled a plaque honoring his memory. Canada Post used one of his works depicting the North-Western Territories in a series of stamps on Canadian art.
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