George Chavignaud - Artworld Fine Art

George Chavignaud

Artist Summary

Georges Chavignaud, born in France became a great admirer of French Impressionism. Primarily a landscape artist and watercolorist, most of his paintings were inspired by his European roots. He described himself as, “a painter of Canadian sunshine and colour”.   Price Range:  $2,000

Full Biography

George Chavignaud (1865-1944)

Born September 24 in Finistere, near Brest, France.  His father was an author, musician, and art collector.  As a boy he watched Corot paint which would influence his work later in life.  He attended the College Charlemagne in Paris.  He became a great admirer of French Impressionism and later embraced this style but used the darker palette of the Barbizon School.

He came to Canada in 1884 and settled in Toronto, working as an art director for a Canadian Publishing firm.  While recovering from an illness, he met and married a Canadian woman from Brantford.  He and his wife traveled to Belgium in 1904 where he painted and studied under Isidore Verheyden at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and Jacob Smets in Antwerp.  He became a very proficient water colourist and was praised personally by King Leopold of Belgium.  He was an elected member of the Society of Water Colour Painters of Belgium.

Chavignaud and his wife returned to Canada a year later and settled in the Meadowvale.  He became a founding member of the short-lived Associated Water Colour Painters.  In 1912 he was offered a position as Principal at the Victoria School of Design in Halifax and he remained there until 1916.  He produced many Maritime scenes while living in Halifax, but most of his landscapes were inspired by his European roots.  He was primarily a landscape artist and watercolourist but paintings done in his later years were done in oil.  He is represented in the National Gallery by a windmill scene, and a piece titled “Sun Set in the Mists”.

Chavignaud moved back to Ontario and settled in the Kleinburg area.  He was a founding member of the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto.  He was elected to the Ontario Society of Artists in 1900.  He was very much a traditionalist and was offended by the Group of Seven exhibits and resigned from the society in protest in 1917.  He exhibited regularly at the Royal Canadian Academy from 1902-1918.

He described himself as, “a painter of Canadian sunshine and colour”.   He died May 4 1944 in Meadowvale, Ontario.


Artist’s Statement

A traditionalist, he was offended by the Group of Seven and resigned from the O.S.A. in protest of their work being shown. He lived in Etobicoke from 1910-1912.