Paul Archibald Octave Caron was a painter, watercolorist, draughtsman, printer and illustrator born in Montreal in 1874 and he died there in 1941. In 1891, he started working as a draughtsman at the Montreal Stained Glass Factory. He stayed there eleven years while pursuing his artistic training with E. Dyonnet at the Conseil des arts et manufactures de Montréal, William Brymner and Maurice Cullen at the Art Association of Montreal School as well as with short study terms in New York and Philadelphia. From 1897 to 1903, he became draughtsman and later artistic director at La Presse de Montréal and worked with various magazines such as Canadian Magazine, Saturday Night in Toronto, Montreal Life and Album universel du Monde illustré. Afterwards, he worked at the Desbarats Advertising Agency for over 25 years until becoming artistic director. Caron illustrated several books of legends (Sir Lancelot’s Return), mythology (Helen and Aphrodite) and regional interest (Quebec Old and New, Saguenay). Subjects in his paintings, drawings and prints originated mostly from various Montreal neighbourhoods but also from excursions in Québec and the Charlevoix region. Caron devoted himself mostly to painting and above all watercolour rather than drawing, favouring the simple and precise style of the American artist, John Sloan. Among his most achieved artworks, one finds the following watercolours: ‘’ Old Government Building and Shops Corner of St. Gabriel and Craig Street ‘’ and ‘’ Montreal and Skiers, Mount Royal ‘’, both done around 1920.
In 1931 and 1937, Paul A. Caron won the Jessie Dow Excellence Award for the exceptional quality of his watercolours. Furthermore, he exhibited with the most popular associations of the era, namely the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, the Canadian National Exhibition, the Ontario Society of Artists as well as the Art Association of Montreal. In addition, he became a member of the Pen and Pencil Club of Montreal and in 1939, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. His artworks are sought by national museums, such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Stewart Museum in Montreal, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Edmonton Art Gallery.
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