M309 | Chateau Ramesay, Montreal

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Chateau Ramesay, Montreal
Henry Richard S. Bunnett
1886, 19th century
Oil on canvas
28.8 x 41 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Painting (2229) , painting (2227)
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Keys to History

Claude de Ramezay (1657-1724) was named governor of Montreal in 1704. He built the Château Ramezay, on Notre-Dame Street, to use for official functions and to house his family, which included 16 children.

At the time this painting was executed, the building was being used by the Faculty of Medicine and Law of Laval University at Montreal. In 1895, the city bought the premises, and the Archeological and Numismatic Society of Montreal (founded in 1862) opened Le Musée du Château Ramezay there in 1895. The Château Ramezay was the first building in Quebec to be declared a historical monument, in 1929.

David Ross McCord (1844-1930), the founder of the McCord Museum, commissioned a number of paintings in the mid-1880s from the artist Henry Richard S. Bunnett (1845-1910), including this one. McCord wanted a record of buildings and places that he felt were of historical importance and might disappear in the future.

  • What

    After Claude de Ramezay (1657-1724) built his home in 1705-1706, the Château Ramezay building served five different functions before being turned into a history museum in 1895.

  • Where

    The civil address of the Château Ramezay was 280-290 Notre-Dame Street East, at the corner of Saint-Claude Street, in Old Montreal.

  • When

    This oil, painted in 1886, shows the Château Ramezay before the addition of the east-end tower in 1903.

  • Who

    David Ross McCord (1844-1930) commissioned Henry Richard S. Bunnett (1845-1910) to paint over 200 oil paintings between 1885 and 1889. The works depicted buildings, views and places around Quebec that McCord felt were of historical importance.