Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Visiting Vancouver - 4: an artistic interlude

I was going to continue my posts on Canadian history through Australian eyes, but I find that I need to check a few facts. It is actually a big ask, almost presumptuous, for an Australian with limited knowledge to try to summarise the broad sweep of Canadian history into a few thousand words. Yet I am doing so for my own reasons.

While I am checking facts, a short artistic interlude.

In my first history post I commented on the long sweep of Canadian history compared to that of Australia.

Pierre LeBer The true portrait of Marguerite Bourgeoys This painting is by Pierre LerBer. Entitled the The True Portrait of Marguerite Bourgeoys, the painting shows the founder of the Congregation de Notre-Dame de Montreal.

It was painted in 1700, 88 years before the First Fleet put ashore at what would become Sydney.

In many ways, this stark painting has a very modern feel. It captures the ascetic zeal of 17th century missionaries in what was then New France.

Pierre LeBer was born in Montreal on 11 August 1669. It seems likely that he acquired his artistic knowledge via his father who owned religious art works and prints and traded in them.

The French sweep forms one recurring theme in Canadian history. At the time that this portrait was painted, society in New France had settled into an almost feudal structure that mirrored society and politics in the mother country, yet was still subtly different in many ways.

A full list of posts in the visiting Vancouver series can be found here.

No comments: