Gaston Rebry, 1933-2007


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Gaston Rebry isn’t as well known as other Quebec landscape
artists but his paintings are increasingly sought by collectors

 

Biography

Gaston Rebry was born in Belgium, the son of a champion road racing cyclist of the same name who was well known in the 1930s.

The younger Gaston Rebry, also a cyclist, graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Menin, Belgium (1952-53) before coming to Canada in 1954.

He continued his art studies at Montreal’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1954-55) before settling in Saint Boniface, Quebec.

Known for his strong technical skill, Gaston Rebry did commercial illustration, but became known for his paintings, particularly his landscapes.

Gaston Rebry drew his inspiration from the Quebec landscape, which includes old houses, sugar bush cabins, woods and the country around the Maurice region.

Group of Seven Influence

The influence of Group of Seven painters can be seen in Rebry’s work, but he developed his own unique style and colour schemes, tending to softer tones.

Gaston Rebry particularly liked to paint winter and fall Canadian scenes. Winter scenes show plenty of rounded forms and shapes, with branches drooping from the weight of snow. Falls scenes feature brighter colours.

Other scenes show plenty of tall, thin trees, of various types, sometimes competing for light, other times falling over each other in confusion. There is little order in the natural landscape, and Gaston Rebry’s paintings capture the chaos.

Other Gaston Rebry paintings show us simplified forms, with sharp edges removed, rounded off, with trees becoming waving circles of colour, beneath streaked skies.

No two Gaston Rebry paintings look alike, and one is struck by the variety of styles he employs.

Gaston Rebry exhibited mainly in Quebec, but art collectors across Canada soon saw the beauty of his landscapes.

Gaston Rebry died in 2007.

Sources:

A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 (online only), by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker. National Gallery of Canada, Artists in Canada database.

Wikipedia entry on Gaston Rebry’s father