BRUNET, Émile (1893-1977)

Émile Brunet studied with Alfred Laliberté at the École des arts du Monument-National, where he was first in his class, and at the school of the Art Association of Montreal. In 1917, he was asked to work on the sculptural ornamentation of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. After further training at the Art Institute of Chicago, he went to France for several years and continued his studies at the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. At the 1937 Paris International Exposition Dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life, Brunet was recognized for his work at the Canadian Pavilion: he received a medal of honour for the architectural ensemble, which was inspired by the grain warehouses of Western Canada, as well as the Exposition Grand Prix for low reliefs adorning the building exterior (decorations that can now be found at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec). In addition to about thirty funerary sculptures in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, Brunet produced many monuments, including the statue of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in Dominion Square; a Longueuil monument to soldiers killed in the First World War; the statue of La Vérendrye in St Boniface, Manitoba; the Monument aux Patriotes in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu; the statue of Kateri Tekakwitha at the Caughnawaga Indian reserve; and a statue of Maurice Duplessis. His monument to Brother André at the Museum of Saint Joseph’s Oratory was inaugurated in 1955 for the Oratory’s fiftieth anniversary.