M982.531.10 | Montreal and I. St. Helen's from Near The Exercising Ground, Mile End, July 1840

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Montreal and I. St. Helen's from Near The Exercising Ground, Mile End, July 1840
Philip John Bainbridge
1840, 19th century
Watercolour on paper
16.4 x 24.5 cm
Gift of Mr. N. B. Ivory
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Painting (2229) , painting (2227)
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Executed from near Mile End, this panoramic view looks south-east across the river to the village of Longueuil and south-west towards the city. St. Helen's Island can be seen to the right, with the fortifications covering most of the area facing the north channel of the river. The exercise ground at Mile End was used for troop drills and was also the site of a racecourse. The mountains referred to in the inscription are known today as Mont Saint-Bruno, Beloeil and Mont Saint-Hilaire. The attribution of this work to Bainbrigge is based on its compositional and stylistic similarity to other works by the artist. The rural landscape is the dominant theme, and the urban developments in the middleground are only hinted at. Seen from slightly above, the buildings appear sketchy and generalized and are almost entirely obscured by the trees in the centre. The use of a high horizon line, the palette and the particular technique are all features reminiscent of other watercolours by Bainbrigge. (Excerpt from: GRAHAM, Conrad. Mont-Royal - Ville Marie : Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p. 113.)