Joseph-Charles Franchère by Edmond Dyonnet
Joseph Charles Franchère was born in 1866. He studied at the National Institution of Fine Arts, at the Council of Arts and Manufactures in 1887-88 in Montreal and for two years with the painter-decorator F.X.E Meloche at his studio. Then he left for Paris to complete his training. For two years he studied at the Académie Julian and at the studio Colarossi in Paris. Returning in Montreal, he was commissioned to do four paintings for Sacré-Coeur Chapel, Church of Notre-Dame in Montreal in 1888-94. He returned in Paris to paint La Vierge de l'Apocalypse (1892), La Multiplication des pains (1893) and Le Christ consolateur des affligés (1895). Durind his stay, he was admitted at the École des beaux-arts in 1888-92 to work with Gérôme. He taught at the Council of Arts and Manufactures in 1899-1915 and at the Monument National. He travelled to Paris in 1910-12 and to New York. Franchère died in Montreal in 1921.
Franchère was an academic painter who specialised in depictions of rural life and in works inspired by symbolism. He painted across Quebec and in the Muskoka region in Ontario.
A painter, watercolourist, illustrator, muralist, Franchère also illustrated books including P.E. Prévost's Chansons canadiennes (1907) and Abbé Lionel Groulx's Les Rapaillages (1916) and painted several official portraits.
From 1890, he submitted his works to the exhibitions of the Art Association of Montreal and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, as well as at various world exhibitions (Chicago in 1893, Buffalo in 1901 and St. Louis in 1904).
Source: Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian art, volume one/A-F, Ottawa, 1988, p. 395 ; Virtual Museum of Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia