Photo of a chair, a footstool and a table near the staircase.

© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Mont-Saint-Hilaire. All Rights Reserved.


This exhibition is structured around the house that was designed, built and inhabited by Paul-Émile Borduas, one of the most important Canadian artists of the 20th century.

The house is considered to be one of the artist’s major works, since he sought to harmonize its every detail.

It offers a privileged vantage point for learning more about the artist and his life and work, as well as the impact he had both nationally and internationally.

The beauty and originality of its design make it a masterpiece of cultural heritage and national architecture. Furthermore, it was the strategic headquarters of the intellectual and artistic avant-garde of the time. This is where Borduas not only produced an impressive number of works but also wrote Refus global (variously translated as Total Refusal, Global Refusal and Global Rejection), a manifesto that 15 contemporary avant-garde artists contributed to and signed.

Lesson’s objectives

This lesson’s main objective is to communicate and appreciate the importance of Paul-Émile Borduas on an artistic and social level.


Students may work individually or in teams, according to the teacher’s decision and the availability of computers for the consultation of digital assets.

To begin with, verify with a discussion the class’ perception of:

- who was Paul-Émile Borduas,
- what was the social landscape in which he created,
- what is the importance of art for a society,
- what can stimulate the writing of a manifesto,
- what are the influences of an artist’s environment on his creations.

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