Biography of Solange LEGENDRE

Solange Legendre, self-portrait



Solange  Legendre was born in Montreal in 1929. She graduated from l'Ecole des beaux- arts de Montréal having studied drawing, printmaking and painting. She also studied painting with Stanley Cosgrove. In Paris she studied at the École des beaux-arts de Paris and at the Ranson Academy from 1952 to 1956, eventually terminating her studies with a specialization in costume and set design at l'École des arts décoratifs.

For thirty years Solange worked as a costume designer at Radio-Canada. In 1981 she received the prix Anik for best costume design for the production "The Cricket of the Hearth", by Charles Dickens. She also worked with most of the theatre companies in Montreal during this time.

Parallel to her designing career, Solange was a dedicated teacher. From 1960 to 1969 she taught costume design at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. In 1966 she was in charge of costume creation for the National Theatre School. From 1967 to 1969, she also taught at the Dramatic Arts Studio of the Collège Sainte-Marie. From 1970 to 1974 she worked in the theatre-study section of the Université du Québec à Montréal.

In 1984, sickness forced Solange to abruptly terminate all of these activities. She died in Saint-Jérôme May 18th, 2004 at the age of 74.


From the beginning of Solange Legendre studies at l’École des beaux-arts de Montréal de Montréal, her préférence was always towards urban thèmes. The port of Montreal, the Streets around it, and the little alleys and inner courtyards, the old houses and artists studios, including the sculptor Alfred Laliberté’s, thèse were the subjects she interpreted with a certain poetic realism that characterizes the whole body of her work.

In Paris she could not resist the attraction to the labyrinth of Streets and houses crowded together; it gave her infinité subjects to work with. In her paintings, as well as her prints, she focused mainly on architectural structures and their relation to space. Vichy and Britanny inspired her few landscapes that caught the peacefulness of the rivers and the ancient trees. The portraits are of friends who took the time to pose for a sketch.


Solange maked prints and lithographs from 1948 to 1956.

She mastered all of the different print making techniques, and engraved the copper, or carved  the stone, with a firm precision.  The palette of her paintings was inspired by the greyness of Montreal and Paris, highlighted here and there by vivid colours. Later on, striking colourswould emerge in her drawings of costumes for the theater, at a time when her painting and print making were a thing of a past.


2006    To be 20 in Paris in 1950, Galerie Valentin, Montreal

1955    168e exposition officielle des beaux-arts. Salon du Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées.

        Exposition des toiles sélectionnées du Grand Prix de peinture France-Algérie, Alger. Reçoit le 2e prix décerné par le Syndicat des journalistes et écrivains français.

              Etchings & lithographs, Théâtre Anjou

1954    167e exposition officielle des beaux-arts. Salon du Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées.

              Les jeunes artistes canadiens à Paris. Maison canadienne, 31 boul. Jourdan.

              70e Salon de l’Union des femmes peintres et sculpteurs.  Musée des beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris.

              Salon de l’Art libre. Palais des beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris

1953    166e exposition officielle des beaux-arts. Salon du Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées

1951     Society of Canadian painters-etchers & engravers at The Royal Ontario Museum

1950-1951-1952 Salon annuel du printemps, Montréal   

1947 à 1952         Expositions annuelles de l'École des beaux-arts de Montréal


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