M312 | Montreal in 1832.

 
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Painting
Montreal in 1832.
James Duncan (1806-1881)
1832, 19th century
Watercolour, gouache and graphite on paper
44 x 71 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M312
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Painting (2229) , painting (2227)
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Description

This view - an early watercolour by Duncan - shows the city from the nord-east slope of Mount Royal. David Ross McCord, from whom the watercolour came, described the work thus : " This is by the finest work of this artist either in artistic feeling or in the beautiful drawing of the buildings, Every house of importance can be identified. He was at this time and for long afterwards painting in the older watercolour school, which he understood." Most of the city's landmarks are distinguishable. To the far right are the windmills built on the edge of the Montreal Common. To the left of the windmills is the large, rectangular bulk of the Collège de Montréal, situated between William and College Streets just west of McGill Street. Commissioned by the Sulpicians, this building was designed to replace the old college, located at what is now Place Jacques-Cartier, which was destroyed by fire in 1803. Notre-Dame Church is clearly shown with the completed towers, wich were finished in 1843 and were therefore not in place at the time this view was executed. The structure with a spire to the left of Notre-Dame Church is Christ Church, which is depicted as being rather loftier than it was in reality. To the left of Christ Church is the row of trees that bordered the Champ-de-Mars. The red-roofed house in the left foreground is "Piedmont", the residence of Louis-Charles Foucher (1760-1829), Sollicitor General of Lower Canada (1795-1804), into wich he moved in about 1820. The house, since demolished, was located where the McGill residence Douglas Hall now stands. (Excerpt from: GRAHAM, Conrad. Mont-Royal - Ville Marie : Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p.85.)