Henri Julien by Edmond Dyonnet
Henri Octave Julien was born in Quebec City in 1852. He lived in Toronto from 1854 to 1960 and in Quebec City between 1860 and 1867.
Julien studied at the University of Ottawa in 1867-1868. He apprenticed to Leggo & Co and later was employed by this company in Montreal from 1868 to 1975. In 1874, Julien travelled to Alberta with the North-West Mounted Police. Then he worked for Burland-Desbarats Lithographic Co. in Montreal between 1880 and 1888, as an illustrator in New York in 1884 and as an art director for The Montreal Star from 1888 to 1908. He also contributed with illustrations to the Canadian Illustrated News in 1873-1883 and did book illustrations for Adolphe Poisson’s Sous les pins in 1902 and Louis Frechette’s La légende d’un people in1908.
A good number of his watercolours were of men fishing in the river near Ste. Rose.
Julien was an illustrator, a painter and a printmaker. As a painter, he did mostly watercolours and a few oils, and many pencil drawings of the Habitant’s life and character.
A good number of his drawings, watercolours and oils of French Canadian life was held at the Arts Club in Montreal in 1936. Also in 1936 the Quebec Provincial Museum (later MNBAQ) exhibited his sketches of members of Parliament during the Laurier era and sketches of legends and customs of Old Quebec. In 1938 the National Gallery of Canada organized an exhibition of Julien’s pen and ink, chalk, watercolour, pencil, coloured chalk, oils and wash drawings.
Source: Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian art, volume two/G-K, Ottawa, 1994 ; Colin S. Macdonald, A dictionary of Canadian artists, Volume 3, Canadian Paperbacks, 1977