Youth 1930-1934

Youth / Training / Teaching: 1930 - 1934


January 3 and 4

Borduas’ diary contains a long list of galleries to be visited but it is difficult to know which of those he did. For example, on the 3rd, he intended to make a "study of Picasso through the galleries"; there then follows a list of five Parisian galleries: galleries Pierre, Vignon, Yvan Got, Paul Guillaume and Aux Trois Magots with their address and the subway exits closest to them. For the 4th, the list contains ten galleries. The name of Renoir appears eight times. This time he intended to do a " study of Renoir " but other painters are also mentioned: Renoir-Matisse (G. André) Renoir-Manet (G. Marcel Bernheim) Renoir, Matisse, Puvis de Chavannes (G. Bourgeat), Renoir-Picasso (G. Corda), Renoir-Denis (G. Druet), Renoir-Brianchon (G. d'art du Montparnasse) Renoir (G. Van Leer) Renoir (13, rue de Seine) Matisse (G. Nouvel Essor) (Gagnon, 1978, p. 38)

January 7

Visits the De Kerstrat exhibition Peintures at the Carmine gallery (Écrits I, p. 26); goes to the exhibition of a group of Russian painters at the Zak Galery, located on Saint-Germain Boulevard (Gagnon, 1978, p. 38, 39).


Receives two post cards from Lucienne Marion addressed to Rambucourt and dated the 11th and the 16th. On the 31st Éva Borduas warns him about a possible marriage with a Frenchwoman. On the 8th of April he notes with interest his visit of the house of Jeanne d'Arc in Domrémy-la-Pucelle (Meuse), (Écrits I, p. 26).

February 21 to March 9

Participates in the Exhibition of the Work of Students in Architecture and the Allied Arts sponsored by the Ordre des architectes de la Province de Québec (Association of Architects of the province of Quebec) and held at the Galerie des beaux-arts de Montréal with Une fontaine dans un parc, from 1927 (new unpublished research by Louise Dupont, 2003).


Visits the 1930 Salon of the Société nationale des Beaux-Arts (Gagnon, 1978, p. 39).

May 11

In Xivray. Trip to Alsace (uncertain dates) (Écrits I, p. 26).

May 11

Ozias Leduc provides him with the sum of $125 for his return to Canada (Écrits I, p. 26).

May 20

Grant demand to extend his travels for educational purposes sent to the government of the Province of Quebec (Écrits I, p. 26).

May 29

Looks for work near Pierre Dubois, who suggests that he contact the people in charge of the Colonial Exhibition (Écrits I, p. 27).

June 2

Ozias Leduc sends Borduas a money order for $l50 to pay the cost of his return ticket to Canada (Écrits I, p. 27).

June 19

Embarks on the S.S. Metagama in Cherbourg, sailing for Canada (Écrits I, p. 27).

June 28

Arrives in Quebec City (Écrits I, p. 27).

September 26

Works with Ozias Leduc and his team on the decoration of the église des Saints-Anges in Lachine (Écrits I, p. 27).

December - January

Creates two panels for the side altars of the église des Saints-Anges in Lachine (Écrits I, p. 27). These panels, which depict the Angels of the Passion, will be finished on January 22nd 1931 (Le Gris, p. 113, Gagnon, 1978, p. 44).



Possible plans for travel to Brazil and South America, or perhaps a move to New York to paint murals. (Écrits I, p. 27; Gagnon, 1978, p. 46).


One month stay at his sister Jeanne’s home in Grenville in the Outaouais region (Écrits I, p. 27).

Week of February 15

Creates a sketch for La Jeune fille au bouquet ou Le Départ (Gagnon, 1978, p. 45 and n. 10).


Likely return to the église Notre-Dame in Montreal to do repair work with Fortunat Rho (Écrits I, p. 27).

May 31

Accepts an invitation to assist Guido Nincheri with the decoration of a small church in Port Colborne (Écrits I, p. 27).

June 21

Cancellation of his trip to Port Colborne (Écrits I, p. 27).


Creates six historical maps for the Chalet de la montagne in Montreal (Écrits I, p. 27) which are:

  • Montréal de 1645 à 1672 (Montreal from 1645 to 1672)
  • Plan d’Hochelaga par Cartier en 1535 (Plan of Hochelaga by Cartier in 1535)
  • Montréal en 1760 (Montreal in 1760)
  • Carte du site de Montréal par Champlain (Map of the Site of Montreal by Champlain)
  • 1534-1535: Les voyages de Jacques Cartier au Canada (1534-1535: The Travels of Jacques Cartier in Canada)
  • Les anciennes possessions françaises en Amérique (The Ancient French Posessions in America)

This contract was received from the City of Montreal through the intermediacy of the Chalet’s architect, Aristide Beaugrand-Champagne. This job was made available through a program for unemployment work assistance (“travaux de chômage”) (François Laurin, Paul-Émile Borduas au Chalet de la Montagne, Novembre - Décembre 1971, new unpublished article; Le Gris, p. 114; Gagnon, 1978, p. 47).


Olivier Maurault, director of the Externat Classique Saint-Sulpice, hires Borduas as a drawing teacher. He will work there until 1943 (Écrits I, p. 27).

October 6

Signs contract to create a Chemin de croix (painting) for the church of Saint-Michel de Rougemont by February 1st1932 (Écrits I, p. 27). The stations of the chemin de croix will be made in his studio located on Chateaubriand Street in Montreal (Le Gris, p. 115).



Settles in Montreal where he paints Vue de l’atelier I; peint à Montréal par Paul-Émile Borduas à Montréal de la rue de Chateaubriand d’une fenêtre de l’arrière du /au / 5929 (Painted in Montreal by Paul-Emile Borduas of Montreal of Chateaubriand Street of a window in the back of 5929) (Gagnon, 1978, p. 48).

February 13

Invited to the last reunion of the Rat vert (Green Rat) circle (Écrits I, p. 27).

Summer - Autumn

In Montreal, submits examples of work in an effort to obtain contracts for the decoration of the following churches:

  • Église Saint-Jean-de-la-Croix
  • Église Saint-Denis
  • Église Saint-Vincent-Ferrier

His bids for these contracts proved unsuccessful. Borduas abandons religious painting and redirects his energies towards teaching. (Écrits I, p. 28).


Meets Gabrielle Goyette (Écrits I, p. 28).



Vacations in Saint-Hilaire (Écrits I, p. 28).


Hired has drawing teacher in five schools of the central district of Montreal: Sainte-Brigide, Saint-Pierre-Claver, Salaberry, Plessis and Lafontaine; 14 hours per week until 1939. Writes Perspective (Écrits I, p. 28).


Member of a committee in charge of developing methods for teaching drawing at the earliest levels of primary school (Écrits I, p. 28).



Boards in Bolton Pass, paints in the region of Knowlton and of Lac Brome; sees Gabrielle Goyette in Granby (Écrits I, p. 28).


Writes to the president-commissioner of New Hebrides and to the administrator of the Tuamotu Islands; inquires on the possibilities of buying a piece of land and emigrating there (Écrits I, p. 28).