Albert Rousseau was born in Sainte-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Quebec in 1908. He is often associated with important Quebec landscape painters René Richard and Léo Ayotte; although Rousseau experimented with many genres of painting, including portraiture and gestural painting, he found landscapes and images of quaint neighbourhoods most intriguing to paint.
It was during his studies at the Quebec School of Fine Arts that Rousseau met many important lifelong friends and mentors. He was known to be very involved in the local arts community, hosting workshops and meetings at his studio. Artist-friends such as Marc-Aurèle Fortin would frequent Rousseau’s studio, creating and discussing art or upcoming exhibitions.
In 1950, the Quebec Museum of Fine Art assembled paintings from 37 Quebec artists demonstrating the evolution of painting in Quebec since 1834. Albert Rousseau participated in this exhibition, generating much attention towards his works and developing his career as an artist. Subsequently, he was invited to contribute to many collections and exhibitions across the country.
After teaching at three Quebec Universities to subsidize his career, Rousseau began his travels through Europe. This exposure to international styles and foreign landscape reinvigorated his style and passion for painting. In the years to come, he traveled to Mexico, the United States, The West Indies, Spain and England, allowing his experiences to broaden and influence his style and subjects.
In 1971 Rousseau bought a windmill in Sainte-Étienne that was scheduled to be demolished and renamed it “Le Moulin des Arts.” This became a meeting place for hundreds of artists, who exhibited their works there every year. In his later years, Rousseau not only exhibited at Le Moulin des Arts, but exhibited all over Canada, in Paris and in New York City.