Artist Spotlight: Jean Claude Roy

There are few artists who can capture the heart of place quite like Jean Claude Roy.

The Rochefort-sur-Mer, France native has called Newfoundland and Labrador his home-away-from-home for many years, and as such has been compelled to use her as his muse.

In the follow-up to his breathtaking and painstakingly comprehensive Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, in which Roy painted each and every community in Newfoundland over the course of 45 years, Terra Magna: Labrador sees a similar approach taken, but this time it’s The Big Land that gets the artist’s love. From Naine to Hopedale, Goose Bay to Char Lake and of course Muskratt Falls, Roy offers up raw and deeply emotional works that are more homage than guide and one that should be seen and experience by any and all who call this province home.

“I already had Labrador in my sights since my first visit there in 2002,” Roy says in the Introduction to Terra Magna. “I left a clue on the final page of Fluctuat Nec Mergitur: a painting of St. Barbe, and myself on my way to the ferry terminal.”

While admitting that tackling Labrador in much the same expansive way as he had Newfoundland presented its challenges, Roy shared that Terra Magna was designed as a loving tribute to the people of Labrador. 

“I hope that the people of Labrador, who are so generous in spirit, will find something true and real in what I have done,” he says. “This book is dedicated to them.”


Jean Claude Roy was born in Rochefort sur Mer, France, in 1948. Committed to becoming an artist since childhood, he first came to Newfoundland and Labrador as a sailor with the French merchant marines at the age of 17. 

After living in Newfoundland for a number of years and taking Canadian citizenship, he now divides his time between France and Newfoundland. Entirely self-taught, he described his style as expressionist colourist. His works can be found in public and private collections in the United States, Canada and Europe.


The must-see collection ‘Terra Magna: Labrador’ is available through Breakwater Books and can be purchased online at or wherever local books are sold.


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *