“Mr. Laliberté worked for the most part on the monumental scale and will be remembered best for his work in this field, but, scattered about the world, recognized as fine work, are many of his portrait busts, medallions and medals . . . Quebec is rich in artists who pursue the historical tradition. Alfred Laliberté was not the least of these.”
– From The Montreal Star, 14 January 1953
Canadian sculptor Alfred Laliberté is best known for his large memorial monuments, which can be found across Quebec, as well as for his smaller sculptures depicting rural Quebec life, legends and customs.
When just 20, Laliberté won first prize at the Provincial Exhibition in Quebec City for a life-sized bust of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which enabled him to enrol in sculpting classes at the Council of Arts and Manufactures (CAM) in Montreal. In 1902, the Council funded Laliberté’s studies at the École des beaux-arts in Paris. It was there he first saw the work of Auguste Rodin, whose influence would profoundly mark his allegorical and religious work. He exhibited at the Salon in Paris, receiving a special mention for his Young Indians Hunting (c. 1905), which was acquired for the National Gallery of Canada in 1906. Returning to Canada in 1907, he had his first important solo exhibition at the Council of Arts and Manufactures in Montreal.
Laliberté taught at the CAM from 1907 to 1923 and at the École des beaux-arts in Montreal from 1923 to 1953. He was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1919, and as a member of the Académie des beaux-arts de l’Institut de France in 1948.