Barque à Percé signed ' M.A. FortiN' (lower right); titled 'EPAVE A PERCE' and dated '1939' on a gallery label oil on board 98.4 x 121.3cm (38 3/4 x 47 3/4in).
Provenance: With L'Art Francais Ltée, Montreal Private collection, British Columbia
Literature: Illustrated MARC-AURÈLE FORTIN un maître inconnu, René Buisson, Le Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin, 1995, pg. 143.
The Experience of Colour Marc-Aurèle Fortin, edited by Michèle Grandbois, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2011, pg. 43-44.
Located at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, Percé was and remains an important destination for artists and writers. Richard Foisy in his essay in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, The Experience of Colour, comments on the importance of this area to the artist and captures the subject of this painting perfectly "Fortin's Gaspé visits, which went on until 1945, gave him the opportunity to tackle new subjects. Far from the roadside houses and crosses, far from the elm trees of Sainte-Rose and the Laurention hills, far away as well from his beloved Hochelaga neighbourhood, he was now confronted by the fury or calm of the sea, seduced by the 'splendid colour effects, like Brittany'.....he captured the sailboats in port or tossed about the waves, the masts with their complicated ladders and rigging, the fisherman and their daily activities, shanties on piles, shipwrecks lying on the shore, beautiful in their neglect-not forgetting, of course, the lord and master of it all, Percé Rock, both unmoving and changing according to the time of day and the light, with its fierce razor-sharp shape, pointing its nose in the air and haloed by an ever-present flock of seagulls and Northern Gannets."