M990X.516.1 | Maisonneuve. Design Of A Monumental Statue To Be Erected To The Memory of the Founder of Montreal In the Place d'Armes.

 
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Maisonneuve. Design Of A Monumental Statue To Be Erected To The Memory of the Founder of Montreal In the Place d'Armes.
Eugene Haberer
1879, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
39.5 x 27.7 cm
M990X.516.1
© McCord Museum
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Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

Towards the end of the 19th century, Montrealers start discussing the idea of erecting a monument to the memory of Paul Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve (1612-1676), the founder of Montreal. At that time there were only two public monuments in the city: one honoring Admiral Nelson (1758-1905), and another to Queen Victoria (1819-1901) .

In April 1879, artist Napoléon Bourassa (1827 -1916) and his pupil, Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850-1917), submitted to a group of prominent citizens the plans of a monumental fountain to honor Maisonneuve. Despite the creation of a committee to drive the project, the initiative was abandoned after a few months.

It resurfaced in 1891, as Montreal was getting ready to celebrate its 250th anniversary. This time the committee commissioned only one artist, Louis-Philippe Hébert, to design and build the monument. After much hesitation regarding the plans and a slow-starting fundraising campaign, the monument was finally erected on the Place d'Armes in July 1895 .

  • What

    The engraving published in the 12 April 1879 issue of L'Opinion publique is based on the drawing submitted by Napoléon Bourassa to a group of influential Montrealers in April of the same year.

  • Where

    The statue, if the project had been approved, would have been erected in the centre of the Place d'Armes, then the heart of the city. A fountain occupied that spot since the 1850's.

  • When

    A drawing of the monument appeared in the newspaper in April 1879, but it was still only a project. Sixteen more years went by before a new statue was finally set up on the site.

  • Who

    Sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert alone designed the current monument to Maisonneuve, on the Place d'Armes in Montreal. It is viewed as the artist's masterpiece.