Octave Girard was born in Pointe-du-Lac, a suburb west of Trois-Rivières, in 1837. He married Marie Louise Dufresne (1843-1924) in Trois-Rivières in 1870.

A gilder, silversmith, and manufacturer of casket decorations, Octave Girard, as of December 1868, was associated with F. Larivière, a casket manufacturer, as funeral directors.

In 1881, Octave Girard lived with his wife in the Saint-Louis neighbourhood of Trois-Rivières. The couple already had five children, including Amanda, Ernest (who would become an artist/painter), Louise, Blanche, and Éva.

Following Octave Girard’s death in 1886, Léopold Girard, his nephew, the son of Léger Girard, took over and partnered with Hector Godin, the loyal administrator in the company. This is where the factory took on the name of Girard & Godin.

As for the artist, Adolphe Rheault (1839-1905), he was a sculptor, painter, and portraitist. Born on a farm in Gentilly, he was encouraged to draw by his schoolmaster. Later, he took drawing and perspective lessons in Trois-Rivières. He also devoted himself to sculpture.

He settled in Bécancour with his wife, Philomène Boisvert. He gave lessons, among others, to Joseph Marsal Samson and Ozias Leduc. He signed “Rho” starting in 1866.

He developed a new process for making portraits: from a mechanically enlarged photograph, he went over the features with pastel, charcoal, or pencil. The portrait therefore gives the illusion of being entirely made by hand, “with a finish that almost defies painting.” Several clients would benefit from this process, and other artists would follow in his footsteps.

Donation from Dr. Conrad Godin
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1979 68 D