Basque, Léonard Parent

Technique: Oil, ink and gouache


Léonard Parent Basque was born in 1927, in Trois-Pistoles, a small town in Bas-St-Laurent.

After advanced studies in philosophy and theology, as he approached the Major Seminary, at the age of 21, Basque discovered a significant interest in painting. He acquired a great deal of artistic knowledge, at historical and technical levels, through his multiple visits to museums, galleries and libraries, but above all through constant pictorial practice. Basque is today considered an erudite self-taught painter. We recognize his representations of the rivers of Bas-St-Laurent, often in floods, from which emerges a beautiful luminosity and a remarkable sensation of movement.

Influenced by romantic and impressionist painters and subsequently those of lyrical abstraction, Léonard Parent Basque created, for nearly 15 years, large abstract, almost monochrome paintings. He subsequently returned to figuration, with subjects that he had not yet explored. Animals, faces, lovers, Don Quixote and Christ are represented in his paintings. His first solo exhibition, which took place in 1957, made him known and thus launched his career. Several exhibitions will follow throughout Quebec.

It was in 1974 that he decided to devote himself to his art and founded, accompanied by his wife Marielle Roussy, an art gallery whose mission was to disseminate the work of Quebec artists.

This exceptional man presented his works across Canada and obtained numerous distinctions, notably his election as a member of the Order of Canada and his award of an honorary doctorate, awarded by the University from Quebec to Rimouski. Basque is also very appreciated for the singularity of his thought and his way of translating it through writing. Thanks to this other talent, several of his articles appeared in magazines and newspapers.

Media coverage

  • Magazin'Art, autumn 1997 edition, article p.65-68, 93-96