Gérard Morisset (1898–1970) can be numbered among the most important founders of Québec’s art history. This article highlights the ideology underlying Morisset's analyses and descriptions of French Canadian portraiture. Through a variety of texts published between 1936 and 1960, Morisset constructs a history of portraiture in the province, systematically using that history to praise a French Canadian national character. He claims to be able to read honesty, industry, simplicity and a "smiling bonhomie," not only in the facial features of French Canadian sitters but also in the brushstrokes of Québec’s francophone portraitists.
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