M966.62.1 | Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722)

 
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Painting
Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722)
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1707-1708, 18th century
Oil on canvas
65.5 x 54.5 cm
Purchase from Mme Cécile Bertrand
M966.62.1
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Painting (2229) , painting (2227)
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Description

This portrait of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722) is one of the earliest civil portraits to have been painted in New France. Born in Trois-Rivières, Hertel de Rouville was granted the seigneury of Rouville at Mont Saint-Hilaire on January 8, 1694. In 1704 he led the raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts. The portrait was probably painted prior to 1713, when de Rouville was posted to Île Royale (now Prince Edward Island). When Hertel de Rouville was made a knight of the Order of Saint Louis in 1721, the insignia of the Order was added to the portrait. The artist responsible for this portrait has not been identified.

Keys to History

This portrait of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722) is one of the earliest civil portraits painted in New France. Born in Trois-Rivières, Hertel de Rouville came from a military family and took up soldiering from an early age. Along with his father and two of his brothers, he served on Governor Brisay de Denonville's campaign against the Senecas in 1687.

Hertel de Rouville moved through the ranks quickly and in 1704, he led the now infamous raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts. His force consisted of 250 men, of which 200 were Abenaki and Iroquois warriors. Over 50 English settlers were killed and about 120 taken prisoner. Many of these subsequently died on a forced winter march to Quebec. Hertel de Rouville was made a knight of the Order of Saint-Louis in 1721, a few months before his death at the age of 54, and had the insignia of the Order added to his portrait.

  • What

    This portrait of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722) is one of the earliest civil portraits painted in New France. Prominent individuals in New France society were quick to follow European fashion by memorializing themselves with a portrait.

  • Where

    We do not know where this portrait was painted. Nevertheless, Hertel de Rouville likely sat for the portrait in his birthplace of Trois-Rivières or at his seigneury at Mont Saint-Hilaire, outside Montreal, during one of his brief periods away from a military mission.

  • When

    This portrait of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville probably dates to sometime between 1704 and 1713. It was likely painted after the raid on Deerfield in 1704 and before Hertel de Rouville was sent to Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) to oversee work on the fortifications there.

  • Who

    Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville (1668-1722) was a lieutenant in the French military, who is remembered for his great courage but also his use of cruel and ruthless tactics. He participated in the campaign against the Senecas in 1687 and led the raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1704.