1889 - 1981
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Betty Baldwin (born Elizabeth Smiles) was born in 1889 in the Yorkshire region in England.
She was born in a family which encouraged the study of arts and she started drawing when she was only six years old. At age ten, she was already an illustrator for an English newspaper and knew considerable success. She lived in Paris, New York and Portland, Maine. She traveled to Ogunquit, Maine, numerous times and painted the landscapes of the area.
She married the violinist Percy Baldwin in 1924 and they settled together in Québec City. It was a love story between Baldwin and Québec. She considered this city to be the most beautiful place in the world for an artist, and took great pleasure depicting city scenes as well as life in the rural areas near the town. Old-Québec became her favourite subject, which she depicted in all possible angles. Baldwin left us with a rich body of work which sends the viewer back to a spirited early 20th century Québec that appears full of life. Her illustrator view is particularly visible when she depicts the city’s architecture whose straight and strong lines contrast with the masterfully applied colours. The past is brought back to life through the artist’s rich and vibrant palette, creating unique spaces that passed the test of time.
During her life, Baldwin held around twenty exhibits in the foyer of the Palais Montcalm in Québec, and taught painting in her studio located on the top floor of the Louis-Joliette house. Her depictions of Québec City and its surroundings have known great success and contributed to get the city known around the world.
She passed away in Québec City in 1981. Today, a street in the city bears the name of this artist who depicted it so many times in stunning paintings which are now in numerous collections worldwide.