M302 | Nelson's Monument, Montreal, Notre-Dame Street Looking West.
Nelson's Monument, Montreal, Notre-Dame Street Looking West.
Robert Auchmuty Sproule (1799-1845)
1830, 19th century
Watercolour, graphite and arabic gum on paper
22.4 x 34.7 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Painting (2229) , painting (2227)
This view, executed from the north-east corner of what is today Place Jacques-Cartier, looks south-west down Notre-Dame Street towards the old Notre-Dame Church (still blocking the street), with the newly-constructed Notre-Dame to its left. The towers of the new church have also been shown - a surprising addition since they were not completed until 1843. However, by the year 1830, when this work was executed, the architect's plans for the towers had already been made public in an engraving published in Quebec City and copied from a drawing of the completed church with towers by John Okill. Several artists depicted the towers in their sketches before they were actually built in order to appeal to their audience's civic pride and to glorify the architecture of the growing city. On the right can be seen the neo-classical spire of Christ Church, and in the foregroung facing the Nelson monument is the town guard house, in front of which stands a sentinel. The large building with the dormer windows, just adjacent to the column at the corner of Notre-Dame,was a storehouse for the Compagnie des Indes that later became the property of James McGill (1744-1813), one of the most successful of the Scottish fur traders who settled in Montreal after the Conquest. In this watercolour, Sproule has included a dog-cart in the foreground near the market. In the early nineteenth century these carts were handled by young boys, who used them to haul small loads around the city and to deliver provisions from the market. (Excerpt from: GRAHAM, Conrad. Mont-Royal - Ville Marie : Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p.77.)