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Québec, rue St-Louis
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches
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Montréal - Sherbrooke Street
oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches
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Montréal - rue Laval
20 x 24 inches
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Une Île entre le ciel et l'eau
24 x 30 inches
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Serge Brunoni

Serge Brunoni (1938)

Claude Sauvage

He was born Sept. 3, 1938 in Lygny-en-Barois, a small border town in France. As a child, he clearly remembers going through literally thousands of crayons; art was already part of his life.

War and the Occupation marked his early childhood, a time of shortages and many other hardships. Yet he retains no bad memories of that period.

In the difficult post-war years, he was obliged to leave school at age of sixteen and work in a factory, like many of his contemporaries.

When he was twenty, he enrolled in the French Colonial Forces, fulfilling his dreams of travel and adventure.

His dreams were answered in the army. He was posted to Frejus in the south of France where he spent six month before embarking from Marseilles en route to Africa – Brazzaville in what was then French Equatorial Africa.

The Lorraine region is reputed to produce fine soldiers. Even as the army met his expectations, so did he meet theirs. He was reluctant to leave, but his desire for the freedom to pursue further adventures led him to be demobilized in Africa. He was soon hired by The African Society for Topographical Studies and Works, then in the process of building a railroad.

The Society sent him thousands of kilometres into the jungle. There, in the deepest Africa, he was ecstatic to discover the truth and beauty of a country and people that seemed to have emerged straight from the Garden of Eden.

What a joy, what a gift from heaven to experience life in its purest form. For one and half year he lived what he describes as a “paradisiacal life”. After three years in Africa, he returned to France for a holiday. On the eve of his return to the Congo, he was informed that the Society would no longer be working in that country.

After living so long in the vast spaces of Africa, Europe seemed too confining and Brunoni decided to immigrate to Canada. He landed on Aug. 8, 1963 and settled in Trois-Riviere, which has remained his home ever since.

In 1967, he married Suzette Normandin, a native of Trois-Rivieres and together they have two children, Hughes and Nicolas.

For Christmas 1969, Suzanne gave him a wooden box of paints and brushes. He painted his first canvas in 1970 and, by 1972, had devoted himself full-time to painting. Whenever necessary, he always seemed to find the appropriate guide, mentor or innovator to help him make a success of his new career.

In the eyes of the many art lovers who have followed that career closely for the past 30 years, Serge Brunoni is a sure candidate for greater recognition, a valued figure in the world of Quebec and Canadian art.