For Fortin, it was the Quebec countryside with its endless variety of regions, topography and seasons that he returned to time and again throughout his prolific career. His commitment to the depiction of the landscape of Quebec derives from a belief that his paintings should exemplify the purest form of the French Canadian national character.
His painting style was influenced by the French Impressionist and Fauvist schools but what makes this winter landscape uniquely his own is his eye for detail combined with an almost playful sense of design and execution. The interesting play of pattern, bold brush strokes and rich palette serve to unify this composition; the bold black hatching around the houses and surrounding wintery hills serve to heighten the intense hues of the vibrant blue/green sky and the white snow on the houses and surrounding scenery. Indeed at heart he is a colourist and his paintings appeal to viewers above all through his highly personal use of colour.
Fortin's unique images of rural Quebec are more modern than those painted by his contemporaries: Goodridge Roberts, Albert Robinson, Frederick Coburn and Robert Pilot. But what unifies them is their shared sense of nostalgia for a culture that is steeped in rural traditions with no signs of urbanization - in fact these are deliberately kept at bay.
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