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Ozias Leduc, an artist between Heaven and Earth
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Life's moments

Detail of a painting showing the top of a vertical row of books, the titles of which are visible.
Life's moments
Life's moments

Still life with books (detail), © Estate of Ozias Leduc / SOCAN (2021)

Painter of words

In search of an ideal of beauty

Ozias Leduc was involved in several artistic, philosophical and literary circles. An educated man, he was constantly hungry for knowledge. Subscribed to several art journals from France, England, the United States and Canada, he became an active member of the Association of Canadian Authors in 1932.

He received many writers at Correlieu such as Robert de Roquebrune, Guy Delahaye, Marcel Dugas, as well as musicians like the pianist and art critic Léo-Pol Morin.

At the end of the 1930s, when commissions were scarce, he continued his search for an ideal of beauty by writing poems and essays on art. At the age of 75, he wrote about sixty poems reflecting his doubts and uncertainties.

Leduc was obsessed with the mysteries of the universe and questioned man, nature and God. Through his writing, he defines his vision of art, beauty and their spiritual significance, notably in the numerous annotations added to his preparatory drawings. Man perpetually seeks to understand the universe that surrounds him, and he deeply believes that the only way to find truth is through knowledge. This allows all of us to unravel the mysteries of nature.

His poetry allows us to better understand his artistic approach since it's imbued with symbolism, just like his paintings.

Leduc also wrote several essays, including the History of Saint-Hilaire, we hear it, we see it. He writes:

A long time ago, Sugarloaf, located at the top of the mountain, burst forth in one last gush of its current form, followed by a long silence. With time, this silence was gradually invaded. Changing climate and disastrous seasons attacked its rugged surface which eventually cracked, its edges falling below. The plateau gradually lost its elevation, its size simultaneously reduced. We can witness, especially on one side of the mountain - what remains of its former splendor. - Ozias Leduc

Two poems by Ozias Leduc, translation by Luc Bouvrette

Rising Sun

The good sun
By mistake
At this piece of land where I sleep.

It shines for me
Without a doubt
And my heart is overcome with emotion.

Ah! Well! My eye
My skin
Welcomes its warmth.

It draws circles.
I dream of a truce.
My poor heart sinks deeper.

Is it good? is it wrong?
Without complaint
Liberated from the restraints
Of being force-fed, I am in a carnival

As a wretched tramp
From the rest
Very modest
Much more than the fallen angel.

As I awaken
I bless you Great Sun.

Beautiful Evening

The sky turns blue
On the gold and purple left by a vanishing sun
That no power, tense in her desire,
Could hold back.

The sky turns blue
On the hillside
On the plain as well
And on the stream's clear water
That seems, in its mirage, to contain it
With all the collapsing gold that the star drags away.

The sky turns blue
On a memory
Joy or sorrow.

The sun is silent
One last moment of light,
A moment, that no one could say
Gets lost in the blue sky
Whose reflection in the water
Blends with the reeds' inverted image.

The sun is silent
It that models, from its supreme moments,
Days and nights.
Moments of eternity
That make life so short,
The heart so troubled.

The sun is silent
It is truce
In our blinded eyes.
But tomorrow a new chain
Joys or sorrows

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