To Louis Muhlstock!

Raise a toast to Louis Muhlstock, who died yesterday at the well-seasoned age of 97. Muhlstock was a painter who lived on rue St. Famille in Montreal, which is the first street I lived on when I first moved here 14 years ago. I used to see him occasionally walking up the street, always dignified with his tie and beret.

Muhlstock moved to Montreal as a child, with his family of Polish-Jewish immigrants, part of the first wave if Eastern-European Jews who populated “The Main” in the early days of this century. In the 1930’s and 1940’s he was well known and widely regarded as a painter of the common people–the poor and unemployed, and the sick. He also painted “urban landscapes” around Montreal. He was known to find beauty in the most mundane things, and was always looking at things and sketching.

In more recent years he painted primarily landscapes, but also whatever caught his fancy. He painted every single day, right up to his last.