Gabrielle Roy – drawing inspiration from the life of the painter René Richard, her friend and neighbor of Charlevoix – recounts the life of an artist named Pierre Cadorai: his years of wandering in the landscapes of the Canadian Far North, his learning, his discovery of Paris, and above all the search for a sense of his art and a sense of his own life.
Inspired in part by the life of René Richard, his friend and neighbor of Charlevoix, and in part by his own memories, Gabrielle Roy recounts here the adventure of a painter-trapper by the name of Pierre Cadorai: his years of wandering in the mythical landscapes of the Canadian Far North, his rare encounters, the slow learning of his profession as an artist applied to grasp the most naked face of man in the middle of nature sometimes friendly and sometimes inhospitable which surrounds him, then his discovery of Paris and Provence, and above all the patient search for a sense of his art and his own life. The novelist, who writes this book in the middle of her career, transforms the existence of Pierre, his miseries and his joys, his thirst for beauty and fullness, the vision both demanding and exalted that he has of his work of creator, in a sort of fable illustrating not only the condition of any artist, but more particularly of the artist that she wanted to be herself, as if to remember – and tell her readers – what the artistic quest to which she dedicated her life.
Trapper preparing his meal, from the artist's book "The Secret Mountain"
numbered IV and embossed printer’s chop [?] AR lower left;
inscribed ‘La Montagne Secrete IV’ on backing;
LiteratureLa montagne secrète by Gabrielle Roy
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