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The forgotten house of Saint-Germain

The forgotten house of Saint-Germain

 

If there is one painter inevitably associated with the village of Saint-Germain, Québec it is none other than Galerie Q artist Nathalie Voisine, who has been a resident for over 20 years.  

Artist Voisine has an intuitive approach to painting and it is easy to single out her work from a sea of many. Featured above is St-Germain, a painting that carries with it a unique and compelling story surrounding the history and cultural life in the region of Kamouraska. On view at Galerie Q, this special artwork reimagines early Kamouraska in 1855 through Voisine’s colourful rendering.   

Saint-Germain is inspired by the true story of John Campbell and his wife Mary Vivian. Born in Quebec in 1785 to an English father and an American mother, John was raised in an affluent household with a yearning desire to become a businessman like his father. In 1835, he constructed his first manor on the foundations of an old house in Saint-Germain.

John felt the house was not complete without the happiness and companionship of a wife. He married Mary Vivian from a wealthy English family soon after in England and asked her to come back to Quebec with him. When Mary arrived, she said that there was nothing that could match the beauty she had left behind in England. She explained that even the stables her father had built were prettier than the manor John had built for her.

In 1841, Mary Vivian returned home, never to come back again. Later in 1855, John would join Mary in England for their last years together. Voisine has painted at this site many times and finds beauty in the story of this forgotten house. St-Germain is currently on exhibit now at Galerie Q.

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