07/16/2013 10:26 EDT | Updated 09/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian Painter Alex Colville Dies


The renowned Canadian artist Alex Colville died peacefully at home in Wolfville, N.S., on Tuesday.

He was 92.

His son, Graham Colville, said his father was suffering from a heart condition.

Alex Colville — born in Toronto on Aug. 24, 1920, but raised and since based in Nova Scotia — has been acclaimed for both portraits and landscapes inspired by his everyday life in Wolfville, as well as for the noted war-art paintings he created during the Second World War.

At the age of 24, he was chosen to serve as a member of the elite Canadian War Art Program.

The enigmatic artist went on to study fine arts at Mount Allison University between 1938 and 1942.

He is most famous for works like the 1954 painting Horse and Train and his 1963 painting To Prince Edward Island.

His art celebrates what he called "the idea that ordinary things are important"

Colville was chosen to design a set of coins to celebrate Canada's centennial in 1967. The same year, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In 1942, Colville married Rhoda Wright. In 1973, they moved into the Wolfville house where she was born. The couple had three sons and a daughter, and Colville's wife and children have all been used as models for his paintings.

Rhoda Colville died Dec. 29, 2012.

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