Musée des beaux-arts de Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Virtual Museum of Canada

Site Presentation

Photo of Paul-Émile Borduas sitting in his studio in front of his work.

Paul-Émile Borduas (1905-1960)
This website is structured around the house that was designed, built and inhabited by Paul-Émile Borduas, one of the most important Canadian artists of the 20th century.

Returning to his native village of Saint-Hilaire, Borduas moved permanently into the house with his wife and three children in 1945, at the end of World War II.

The house is considered to be one of the artist’s major works, since he sought to harmonize its every detail. The square volumes and pure, clean lines of its architecture evoke the De Stijl movement and the work of Le Corbusier. Its furnishings display the combination of straight and curved lines characteristic of the Art Deco style.

The house is a natural place from which to explore this virtual exhibition and offers a privileged vantage point for learning more about the artist and his life and work, as well as the impact he had both nationally and internationally. The house is significant both stylistically and historically.

The beauty and originality of its design make it a masterpiece of cultural heritage and national architecture. Furthermore, it was the strategic headquarters of the intellectual and artistic avant-garde of the time. This is where Borduas not only produced an impressive number of works but also wrote Refus global (variously translated as Total Refusal, Global Refusal and Global Rejection), a manifesto that 15 contemporary avant-garde artists contributed to and signed.

The goal of this website is to demystify the artist by situating him in his everyday life and, at the same time, showing how his environment significantly influenced his creative gesture.

Header image: Southwest corner of the ground floor inside the house of Paul-Émile Borduas.