M968.97 | Montreal from the Road to Laprairie over the Rapids

Montreal from the Road to Laprairie over the Rapids
Philip John Bainbrigge (attribué à /attributed to)
1837, 19th century
Watercolour on paper
15.3 x 22.2 cm
Purchase from Mr. John L. Russell
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Painting (2229) , painting (2227)
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This scene depicts one of the ice roads that was built each winter to connect the south shore communities with the city. The small timber-framed shacks on the ice were used for ice fishing, as they still are today. The larger shack in the foreground with "OBERGE X Clouet" painted on it was probably a shelter where fishermen and travellers could stop for refreshments and relief from the cold. The man standing by the flat-bottomed sleigh - a mode of transportation used frequently throughout rural Quebec - is wearing a blanket coat with a ceinture fléchée ( a brightly-coloured finger-woven sash) and a wool tuque. This was the standard winter wear for many people during most of the first half of the nineteenth century. In the centre can be seen the windmills that were situated at Windmill Point, near the entrance to the Lachine Canal. To their right we can spot the old bell tower of Notre-Dame and the new church flanked by its towers. At the far right is the spire of Christ Church. This watercolour is similar in composition to a work attributed to Henry James Warre (1819-1898), which is in the Coverdale Collection of the National Archives of Canada. An inscription on the Warre watercolour states, moreover, that it was copied after Bainbrigge. It seems therefore plausible that this is the actual watercolour that Warre copied. (Excerpt from: GRAHAM, Conrad. Mont-Royal - Ville Marie : Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p. 97.)