This work depicts a young mother, focused on her sewing work, sitting right beside her baby lying in a crib. The door to the house is open. The village church appears on the opposite bank of a river.

The Virgin Mary watches over this household, holding the Baby Jesus in her arms. On the wall, there is a frame and a crucifix. At the doorstep, on a wooden floor, an oval-shaped woven rug welcomes visitors. The colours vary gently from ochre white to azure green, then to dark brown.

As for the artist, Ozias Leduc, he was described as a man of few words, sensitive, observant, serious, and modest. He was born in 1864 in the city of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, and his drawing skills were quickly noticed. Employed by a statue manufacturer in Montreal, he became an apprentice with Italian painter Luigi Capello, the husband of his cousin, Marie-Louise Lebrun.

Starting from 1889, Leduc worked on the decoration of the Sainte-Anne-de-Yamachiche church with artist Adolphe Rho. Upon returning home in 1896-1897, Leduc began decorating the Saint-Hilaire church with a team of artisans, then left for Europe. He visited Paris and London. He completed the work upon his return, inspired by what he saw there. He was stimulated by the symbolist movement, in opposition to naturalism. Leduc preferred to represent impressions, sensations, moods.

Leduc then spent more than 10 years decorating the Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation church in Shawinigan-Sud, now Shawinigan, between 1943 and 1955, staying for long periods at the presbytery of Almaville.

When Leduc was at home in his orchard in Saint-Hilaire, where he made cider, he was also interested in his fellow citizens: he acted as a municipal councillor and was involved in the school board. He planned and suggested the construction of parks. He also taught drawing.

His works are preserved in the largest museums in Quebec, Canada, and Europe.

A surprising fact: Paul Émile Borduas, an automatist painter of another generation, far from the old school of a Leduc, confessed that Leduc had a great influence on his work.

Ozias Leduc, whose talent is recognized, died at the age of 93 in 1955.

Donation from Msgr. Albert Tessier
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1977 27 P