Jean Paul Lemieux
Les Parques, 1962
oil on canvas
71.1 x 110.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the Collection of George P. and Lola M. Kidd
Jean Paul Lemieux, a Quebecois painter, remained interested in figurative art, despite the prevalence of abstract art in Quebec in the 1950s. He was a careful and understated colourist. Avoiding dramatic contrast, Lemieux’s figures often appear mired in a fog. The question of human existence fascinated Lemieux, an issue he addressed in his paintings through the deceptively simple arrangement of objects or figures in landscapes. Les Parques, or the Fates, represents three female figures in classical mythology who spin all life from thread and determine a person’s fortune or destiny. Lemieux envisions the Fates—Nona, Decima, and Morta—as three modern women, or as a single woman at three distinct moments in time, each corresponding to a particular stage of life, from youth to old age.