Portrait of Gertrude Leduc, c. 1918
pastel on paper
26.4 x 35.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the Estate of Gertrude Leduc
Ozias Leduc was born and lived for most of his life in Saint Hilaire, Quebec. A largely self-taught artist, Leduc first trained as a church decorator, a skill he plied throughout Quebec, the Maritimes, and New England. As an artist, his work ranged from religious murals to small still lifes as well as pastel portraits, such as this work of his niece. According to a story passed down, just before this portrait was done Gertrude’s mother had scolded her for dirtying a petticoat that she had worn into a swimming hole on her uncle’s property, where she had sought reprieve from the summer heat. Witness to the rebuke and highly amused, Ozias Leduc quickly located paper and pastels and rendered this dynamic portrait.