This painting features prominently in a photograph from around 1924 of a young Borduas, then a student at the École des beaux-arts in Montreal. The school had several stuffed animals that served as models, and Study of a Sparrow Hawk in a Decorative Landscape is typical of the exercises that first-year students were assigned. The school’s aim was to train not only painters and sculptors but also skilled decorators who would find employment in the field of applied arts.
Paul-Émile Borduas’s Abstract Revolution
Paul-Émile Borduas, Study of a Sparrow Hawk in a Decorative Landscape (Étude d’un épervier dans un paysage ornemental), c.1923–24
Oil and pastel, 90 x 60 cm, private collection