Des Clayes, Berthe

Berthe des Clayes

Aberdeen, Scotland, 1877
Devon, England, 1968
Biography synopsis
Known for her portraits and Impressionist-style landscapes, the eldest of the Des Clayes sisters traveled between Montreal and England throughout her life. Her early studies took place at the Bushey School of Art in England and the Académie Julian in Paris where she studied under Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Lefebvre. After living in London for six years (1906-12), she settled in Montreal in 1912, then spent a year traveling in England and France (1919-20). Des Clayes then settled in Chorleywood, England until 1931, then returned to Montreal where she lived until 1951. She was in Devon, England in 1967, and died the following year. A versatile artist, she worked in oils, watercolours and pastels and won the Jessie Dow Prize twice. Her fondness for the Canadian landscape pushed her to illustrate two books: “Here and There in Montreal and the Island of Montreal” by Charles W. Stokes, and “Acadia (Nova Scotia)” published by the Dominion Atlantic Railway. One of her landscapes and two Nova Scotia harbour scenes can be found in the National Gallery of Canada.
Media used
Painting, pastel, Watercolour
Bushey School of Art, Bushey, England (under B. Herkomer)
Académie Julian, Paris (under Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Lefebvre)
File & Archive locations
University of Calgary Library, AB
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
University of British Columbia – Fine Arts Library
Frick Art Reference Library, NY
National Gallery of Canada, ON – Library and Archives
Art Gallery of Ontario – Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Writings about
An Exhibition of Canadian Paintings Held at Fortnum and Mason Limited. London: 1955.
“Annual Art Show Open By Bertha Des Clayes.” Gazette (Montreal) 8 Dec. 1936.
“Art Association Spring Exhibition Opened Last Night.” Montreal Herald 17 Mar. 1933.
“Art Association’s Spring Exhibition: Private View Ushered in Showing of Representative Assemblage of Work.” Gazette (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1925.
“Art of Canadians Well Represented.” Gazette (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1920: 1.
“Art Works On View Set High Standard: Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Royal Canadian Academy Is Opened.” Gazette (Montreal) 17 Nov. 1916.
“Artists Young and Well-Known in Exhibition.” Montreal Herald 4 Apr. 1918.
“Au salon du printemps.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 18 Apr. 1922: 1-2.
“Autumn and Spring Scenes.” Montreal Star 5 Dec. 1934.
“Beau geste d’artistes de la capitale.” La Presse 28 Jan. 1915.
“Beauty of Autumn Well Interpreted.” Montreal Star 16 Nov. 1937.
“Berthe Des Clayes Shows Work At the Watson Art Galleries.” Gazette (Montreal) 1 Feb. 1941.
“Bohemian Crowd At Opening of New Art Rooms.” Montreal Daily Star 3 Mar. 1913.
“Clever Sketches Of City in Winter.” Montreal Star 4 May 1932.
“Des Clayes’ Pictures Blaze Of Autumn Tints.” Montreal Star 30 Nov. 1932.
“Des oeuvres remarquables au salon du printemps.” La Presse (Montreal) 5 Apr. 1924: 23.
“Exhibition of Works by Berthe Des Clayes.” Gazette (Montreal) 18 Jan. 1941.
“Exposition artistique à Montréal.” La Presse (Montreal) 21 Mar. 1919: 21.
“Exposition de peintures par nos artistes.” La Presse (Montreal) 1 Apr. 1921: 7.
“Exposition de tableaux par le peintre J. Jutras.” La Presse (Montreal) 14 Apr. 1925.
“Exposition remarquable chez Eaton.” La Presse (Montreal) 8 Oct. 1927: 45.
“Fewer Paintings, Higher Standards: Thirty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Art Association of Montreal.” Gazette (Montreal) 1 Apr. 1921.
“Final Week of Show By Bertha Des Clayes.” Gazette (Montreal) 8 Feb. 1941.
“Fine Arts, Crafts and Decoration.” Gazette (Montreal) 1 Feb. 1941.
“Fine Work Marks R.C.A. Exhibition.” Gazette (Montreal) 20 Nov. 1925.
“L’Academie Royale Canadienne des Arts.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 23 Nov. 1933.
“L’Exposition de peinture.” La Presse (Montreal) 22 Nov. 1913.
“L’Exposition de peintures.” La Presse (Montreal) 23 Mar. 1912.
“L’exposition du printemps a la galerie des arts.” Le Canada 31 Mar. 1923: 10,14..
“La Galérie Eaton: L’exposition des artistes de la province de Québec.” La Patrie (Montreal) 21 Oct. 1927: 14.
“Le salon de peinture: La Princesse Patricia de Connaught expose ses oeuvres au Salon.” Le Canada (Montreal) 16 Mar. 1927: 12.
“Le Salon du Printemps.” La Patrie (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1928: 17.
“Le Salon du Printemps.” Le Canada (Montreal) 5 Apr. 1926.
“Le salon du printemps.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 4 Apr. 1940: 4.
“Le Salon du printemps.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 1 Apr. 1921: 8.
“Le salon du Printemps: Les Tableaux” La Patrie (Monreal) 7 Apr. 1924: 5.
“Le Vernissage du printemps à la Galérie des Arts.” La Patrie (Montreal) 16 Mar. 1923: 15.
“Meritorious Work At Spring Exhibit: Mural Paintings in R.C.A. Competition Part of Entries at Art Gallery.” Gazette (Montreal) 28 Mar. 1924.
“Montreal Artists Well Represented: High Standard Set at Spring Exhibition of Art Association.” Gazette (Montreal) 16 Mar. 1923: 6.
“Notable Pictures in the Art Exhibition.” Toronto Daily Star 20 Nov. 1919.
“Nouvelle visite au salon des artistes.” La Presse (Montreal) 6 Apr. 1925: 27.
“Onze tableaux pour le musée de la capitale.” La Presse (Montreal) 24 Nov. 1913.
“Ouverture de l’exposition de peintures.” La Presse (Montreal) 19 Nov. 1920: 29.
“Pictures by Miss des Clayes.” Montreal Star 17 Nov. 1937.
“Post Impressionists Shock Local Art Lovers At The Local Spring Exhibition.” Montreal Daily Witness 26 Mar. 1913.
“Presents Picture As In Memoriam.” Montreal Star 24 Jan. 1934.
“Private View Held at Art Exhibition.” Gazette (Montreal) 27 Mar. 1926.
“Protestations des artistes canadiens.” La Patrie (Montreal) 9 Dec. 1932.
“Quelques héros de Louis Hémon en sculpture.” La Presse (Montreal) 24 Mar. 1922.
“Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Open Galleries.” Montreal Herald 19 Nov. 1915.
“Spring Art Show has 478 Exhibits.” Gazette (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1915.
“Spring Exhibition at Art Galleries. Younger Men and Women Encouraged by Jury of Selection. Proportion of Paintings by “Arrived” Artists Smaller Than Usual-Over 350 Works on View.” Gazette (Montreal) 23 Mar. 1928: 8.
“Spring Exhibition at Art Gallery is Along Normal Lines.” Montreal Star 21 Mar. 1923: 1-2.
“Spring Exhibition At Art Gallery: Opened For Private View Last Night With Many Meritorious Works.” Gazette (Montreal) 26 Mar. 1913.
“Spring Exhibition at the Art Galleries.” Montreal Herald 4 Apr. 1921.
“Spring Exhibition at the Montreal Art Gallery.” Montreal Daily Star 11 Mar. 1911.
“Spring Exhibition of Art Association was Opened on Thursday.” Toronto Star 12 Mar. 1933.
“Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal.” Toronto Star 22 Mar. 1933.
“Spring Exhibition.” Montreal Star 16 Apr. 1924.
“Talented Sisters Show Paintings.” Gazette (Montreal) 24 Jan. 1934.
“The Fine Arts: Two Gifted Sisters.” Montreal Star 2 Mar. 1912.
“Three Sisters Combine in Exhibition.” Montreal Star 16 Dec. 1931.
“Tom Dohan Bequest Brings Painting to Be Hung Collegiate.” Sun (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) 29 Apr. 1953.
“Une étude sur l’art canadien.” La Patrie (Montreal) 18 Apr. 1934: 37.
Bradfield, Helen Pepall. Art Gallery of Ontario: The Canadian Collection. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1970.
Canadian National Exhibition. Canadian National Exhibition: Department of Fine Arts, August 23rd – September 6th, 1919. Toronto: 1919.
Canadian National Exhibition. Canadian National Exhibition: Department of Fine Arts, August 25-September 10th, 1917. Toronto: 1917.
Canadian National Exhibition. Canadian National Exhibition: Department of Fine Arts, August 26-September 7th, 1918. Toronto: 1918.
Canadian National Exhibition. Catalogue of Paintings and International Graphic Art: Toronto, August 27th – September 10th, 1921. Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 1921.
Canadian National Exhibition. Catalogue of Paintings, Graphic Art and Photography, Toronto, August 23-September 6th, 1924. Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 1924.
Canadian Newspaper Service. Canadian Newspaper Service Reference Book: Biographical Reference Data and General Information.Montreal: Canadian Newspaper Service, Ltd, 1940.
Christie’s Canada. Early Canadian watercolours, topographical and historical drawings, important early Canadian portraits and fine paintings and drawings by Canadian artists of the 19th and 20th century; English and Fre Montreal: Christie’s Canada, 1969.
Comeau, André. Artistes Plasticiens. Montreal: Bellarmin, 1983.
E. D. “Exposition des oeuvres antiques de nos articles quebecois, chez Eaton.” La Presse (Montreal) 8 May 1929.
Fabien, Henri. “À la Galérie des beaux-arts.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1915.
Farr, Dorothy and Luckyj, Natalie. From Women’s Eyes: Women Painters in Canada. Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1975.
Girard, Henri. “Le Salon du Printemps.” La Revue Moderne (May 1930): 10.
Gordon, E.J. “Luncheon Marks Polish Exchange Agreeement.” Gazette (Montreal) 12 Mar. 1988: J5.
H.P.B. “I.A.A. Opens Exhibition with 300 Canvases.” Montreal Daily Star 12 Oct. 1932: 8.
Hill, C.C. and P.B. Landry, eds. National Gallery Catalogue, Canadian Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1988.
Hughes, Margaret E. A Guide to Canadian Painters. Toronto: King’s Printer, 1940.
Johnson, Jane and A. Greutzer. Dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1976.
Kerr, Estelle. “Concerning Canadian Art.” Courier (7 Oct. 1916?).
Laberge, Albert. “Causerie en marge du salon du printemps.” La Presse (Montreal) 3 Apr. 1923.
Lafleur, Paul T. “To Promote Art in Minor Centres.” Gazette (Montreal) 9 Dec. 1913.
Laurette, Patrick C. Scottish Painting in Canada. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1978.
Lemieux, Yves. “Le 50e Salon du Printemps.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 8 Apr. 1933.
MacDonald, Colin S.. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009
MacTavish, Newton. Ars Longa. Toronto: The Ontario Publishing Co., 1925.
MacTavish, Newton. The Fine Arts in Canada. Toronto: Macmillan, 1925.
Masters Gallery. Berthe Des Clayes, 1877-1968 Calgary: The Gallery, 1983.
McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Formerly Art Association of Montreal: Spring Exhibitions, 1880-1970. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.
McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Royal Canadian Academy of Arts/Académie royale des arts du Canada: Exhibitions and Members 1880-1979.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.
Morgan-Powell, S. “Originality and Crude Paintings at Exhibition.” Montreal Star 18 Nov. 1916.
Morgan-Powell, S. “Spring Show is Notable; Progress Keynote.” Montreal Daily Star 26 Mar. 1915: 8.
National Gallery of Canada. Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture: Canadian School. Ottawa: Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, 1957.
Nixon, Virginia. “Galerie Bernard Desroches.” Gazette (Montreal) 24 Aug. 1974.
Ontario Society of Artists. President’s Annual Report, 1923. Toronto: 1923.
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Powell, S. Morgan. “R.C.A. Annual Exhibition is Here for Month.” Montreal Daily Star 22 Nov. 1915: 2.
Powell, S. Morgan. “Spring Exhibition.” Montreal Star 7 Apr. 1926.
Prefontaine, Fernand. “Le Salon du Printemps.” La Patrie (Montreal) 27 Mar. 1926: 31.
Reynald. “Le 50e salon du printemps.” La Presse (Montreal) 17 Mar. 1933.
Robson, Albert Henry. Canadian Landscape Painters. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1932.
Royal Academy of Arts. Exhibitions 1905-1970: A Dictionary of Artists and their Work in the Summer Exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts. East Ardsley: EP Publishing, 1982.
Royal Canadian Academy and Ontario Society of Artists. Catalogue of the Joint Exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and of the Ontario Society of Artists, 1918. Toronto: 1918.
Saint-Yves, Paul. “Au ‘Salon du Printemps’.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 30 Mar. 1927.
Saint-Yves, Paul. “Aux Galeries Eaton.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 10 Oct. 1927.
Sewell, John. “Clock Has Royal Connection.” Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario) 11 Feb. 2006: H3.
Sewell, John. “Keeping Royal Time.” Ottawa Citizen 11 Feb. 2006: I.12.
Sewell, John. “Swedish Cartel Clock Fit for a King.” Toronto Star 21 Jan. 2006: P4.
Westbridge, Anthony R. The Collector’s Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications, 2001.
Writings by
Carlyle, Randolph; illustrated by Berthe Des Clayes. “Up the Great Lakes.” Canadian Magazine 49.2 (Jun. 1917): 101-107.
Dominion Atlantic Railway; Berthe Des Clayes, illustrator. Acadia. Kentville, Nova Scotia: Dominion Atlantic Railway, 1920.
Laliberté, Alfred. Les Artistes de mon temps. Montreal: Le Boréal, 1986.
Lowrey, Mary E.; illustrations by Berthe Des Clayes. “An Adventure in Youth.” Canadian Magazine 48.6 (Apr. 1917): 507-514.
Stokes, Charles W.; Berthe Des Clayes, illustrator. Here and There in Montreal and the Island of Montreal: An Illustrated Descriptive Guide to the Historical and Picturesque Landmarks and Places of Interest in Montreal and Environs. Toronto: Musson, 1924.
Thonley, Betty; illustrations by Berthe Des Clayes. “From Grand Pré to the Sea.” Canadian Magazine 47 (Aug. 1916): 277-83.
ref: Canadian women artiste, Concordia university, Montreal