Richard Montpetit

Première Glissade, 1979

oil on board

20 × 16 in

 16 x


 40.64 x



plus shipping & taxes

About the work

Though different in subject matter than Montpetit’s more familiar street scenes, Première Glissade nevertheless showcases the artist’s expert use of light. A cloud-soaked sky washes the background in monochrome, rendering strikingly golden the shorn fields amidst the snow. Deepening shadows draw the viewer along with the small figures who trudge up the path, sled in tow, in pursuit of the perfect launch point for the first ride of the season. The touch of abstraction in Première Glissade makes the scene recognizable and relatable to anyone whose youth was spent exploring rural prairie landscapes. The leafless trees and stretches of dirt amidst the white snow exude the chill of short days but also bring the memory of bundling up just as Montpetit’s figures have to brave the cold in pursuit of outdoor adventure.

Medium Painting
Signature Signed
Frame Framed
Condition very good
Seller Private
Location Vancouver, Canada
Provenance Galerie Colbert, Montreal Quebec; Private Collection, Vancouver.

Richard Montpetit


Richard Montpetit was born in Montreal in 1950.  As the son of the artist Rolland Montpetit, he was soon involved in the art world.  The end of the 70s found him painting in an impressionistic style, mainly landscapes, and he later diversified his subjects, due to his many séjours painting in Mexico, France, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, and the Dominican Republic.  He adopted small-size sketches where the subtlety of colours and the accuracy of light rendered the heart of the matter.

In time, street scenes became his preferred subject. His compositions, despite a contemporary urban reality, were always attracted by light.  He studied variations though the seasons, night, and day, and captured the effects of different luminous sources such as car lights, street lamps, shop windows, and neon signs.  All of these notes bring one into the precise mood of the moment and make one feel that they are present.

Richard Montpetit subsequently returned to paint in France, then Cuba, Croatia , Malta, and Martinique; then, in the fall of 2016, to Provence and again Paris.  In all that various corpus, as well as in his landscapes and street scenes in Montreal, Paris, or any other town, his œuvre is specifically based on the effects of light, appearing like a meditation on everyday existence, solitude, presence, and the passing of time.

“I am a traveller, and no matter where I am, I look with a certain nostalgia to see and feel.  My gaze on the present moment is nostalgic, as if I were observing old photos.  This is when everything becomes clear and I can really see.  Of course I am painting the light, but studying the light is looking at time through days and nights, seasons, etc.  So, in a way, my subject is time, time passing in our life, time that I want to capture or at least remember when the magic was present and I can convey that I was there… I am there.”

Since 1979, Richard Montpetit has exhibited in more than 31 solo shows, including a retrospective exhibition that lasted three months at the Marc-Aurèle Fortin Museum.  Permanently represented by several art galleries across Canada, his paintings are present in many public and private collections.

Artist CV


  • Mainly self-taught with some guidance from artist/father Rolland Montpetit.
  • Has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, and across Canada for painting subjects.

Solo Exhibitions:

1990, ’92, ’94, ’96, ’98, 2000, ’02, ’04, ’06, ’08, ’11, ’16, ’18, ’20, 2022 – Roberts Gallery
1988, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’99, 2002, ’04, ’06, ’09, ’10, 2011 – Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal
1988 – Galerie d’Art Vincent, Ottawa
1987 – Marc Aurele Fortin Museum – retrospective show
1984 – Galerie Bigue Osler, Toronto
1984 – Galerie Alexandre, Montreal
1982, ’84 – Galerie Michel Bigue, Montreal
1980, ’81 – Galerie Colbert, Montreal

Montpetit has participated in numerous group shows in Quebec and Ontario.

Group Exhibitions:

2008 – present, Art Toronto, Roberts Gallery, Toronto
1989 – present, Annual Artists Choice Exhibition, Roberts Gallery, Toronto


Confederation Life Insurance Co.
Nova Corporation
City of Sherbrooke
Power Corporation
Nortel networks
PAL Insurance Company
IBM Canada
Merchantile Bank
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Bank of Montreal
Imperial Bank of Commerce

Represented at:

Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal
Roberts Gallery, Toronto
Winchester Galleries, Victoria
Masters Gallery, Calgary
Galerie L’Harmattan, Baie St-Paul





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