Alex Colville – Artwork and Bio of the Canadian Painter

Alex Colville was a Canadian painter and printmaker born on 24 August 1920 in Toronto, Ontario. Alex studied art formally at Mount Allison University, enrolling in 1938 and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in 1942. While at the Academy, Colville exhibited with the Art Association of Montreal and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

After graduation, Alex married his friend and former schoolmate, Rhoda Wright, and enlisted in the Canadian Army infantry shortly after. He was made a war artist and often depicted scenes from the war. Colville returned home after the war and worked as an art instructor at his alma mater. Seventeen years of teaching later, Colville quit, focusing on printmaking and painting full-time.

Colville won acclaim for his works and is known as the founder of the maritime realism movement. Some of the prestigious awards and honors won by the artist include the Companion of the Order of Canada in 1982 and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Colville died of a heart condition on 16 July 2013 in Nova Scotia, leaving behind a lasting legacy in art.

What was Alex Colville Known For?

Alex Colville was known for painting realistic scenes, including depictions of his wife’s recreational life. Colville’s paintings showed various subjects such as animals, waterways, nudes, recreation, and everyday activity. Colvile’s early works also included war scenes.

Who was Alex Colville Influenced By?

Alex Colville was influenced by Post-Impressionists such as Stanley Royle and Sarah Hart. Royle and Hart were brilliant landscape painters who employed bright colors in their artworks, a technique adopted by Colville. Despite the influence, Alex Colville’s style is considered unique due to its associated features.

What Art Movement was Alex Colville Associated With?

Alex Colville was associated with the Realism art movement.

Alex Colville Artwork

Below are some of the artworks of Alex Colville


Bell Buoy and Cormorant Serigraph



Black Cat



Child and Dog



Couple on Beach



Cyclist and Crow



Family and Rainstorm



Four Figures on Wharf



Hound in Field



June Noon



Living Room



Priest and Dog



Seven Crows



Swimming Dog



Woman at Clothes-Line




Woman carrying a Canoe




Woman in Bathtub




Woman, Man and Boat