Monument to Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve

Left: Maisonneuve Monument, Place d'Armes, Montréal, QC. circa 1896

Right: Maisonneuve Monument, Place d'Armes, Montréal, QC. After Notman (VIEW-2787). Taken on October 28, 1999 at 9:45 a.m.

Photographers: Left: William Notman, Right: Andrzej Maciejewski
McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


Date/Time: October 28, 1999, 9:45 a.m.

There are two different times showing on two different clocks in Notman's original photograph. I chose the later time and managed to capture the same light angle, although there is no longer sunlight on the Bank of Montreal building due to high-rises that have been built on the east side of Place d'Armes. My vantage point was suggested by the monument's position in relation to the Bank building. As it happened there was part of a tourist information display in my line of sight, and this seemed appropriate, since this is probably one of the most visited places in Montreal.
Date/Time: October 28, 1999, 9:45 a.m.

There are two different times showing on two different clocks in Notman's original photograph. I chose the later time and managed to capture the same light angle, although there is no longer sunlight on the Bank of Montreal building due to high-rises that have been built on the east side of Place d'Armes. My vantage point was suggested by the monument's position in relation to the Bank building. As it happened there was part of a tourist information display in my line of sight, and this seemed appropriate, since this is probably one of the most visited places in Montreal.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Map

This Map of Montreal depicts the location where the photographs by Notman and Maciejewski were taken.

McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


This monument in memory of Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, founder of Montreal, was unveiled on July 1, 1895, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 250th anniversary of Montreal in 1892. In 1896, the imposing monument in the centre of Place d’Armes attracted numerous onlookers.

This sculpture was part of a trend throughout the West. In addition to collecting relics of the past and building museums, citizens created many plaques and monuments in memory of the heroes of the past. During the 1890s, a series of commemorative plaques was produced for the first time in Montreal, at the instigation of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society, which took an active role in the project to build the Maisonneuve Monument. For its part, the Société historique de Montréal had an obelisk erected in 1893, in memory of the founders of Montreal. The Francophones and Anglophones of Montreal found common ground in the commemoration of the personalities of New France. However, each cultural group tended to highlight its own heroes in its commemorative endeavours.
This monument in memory of Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, founder of Montreal, was unveiled on July 1, 1895, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 250th anniversary of Montreal in 1892. In 1896, the imposing monument in the centre of Place d’Armes attracted numerous onlookers.

This sculpture was part of a trend throughout the West. In addition to collecting relics of the past and building museums, citizens created many plaques and monuments in memory of the heroes of the past. During the 1890s, a series of commemorative plaques was produced for the first time in Montreal, at the instigation of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society, which took an active role in the project to build the Maisonneuve Monument. For its part, the Société historique de Montréal had an obelisk erected in 1893, in memory of the founders of Montreal. The Francophones and Anglophones of Montreal found common ground in the commemoration of the personalities of New France. However, each cultural group tended to highlight its own heroes in its commemorative endeavours.
Printed Documents
  • Continuité : Le mont Royal, nature urbaine. 2001. Vol. 90 (Fall).
  • Drouin, Daniel. 2001. Louis-Philippe Hébert. Québec : Musée du Québec; Montreal : Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Gordon, Alan. 2001. Making Public Pasts :The Contested Terrain of Montréal's Public Memories, 1891-1930. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
  • Groulx, Patrice. 1998. Pièges de la mémoire : Dollard des Ormeaux, les Amérindiens et nous. Hull (Que.) : Vents d'Ouest.
  • Roy, Pierre-Georges. 1923. Les monuments commémoratifs de la province de Québec, vol. 1. Quebec City : [Printed by Louis-A. Proulx].
On-Line Document
  • Old Montreal Website. [On Line]. http://www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca (Pages accessed in January 2002).

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Maisonneuve Monument

Louis-Philippe Hébert was certainly the most famous sculptor of commemorative monuments in all of Canada, no doubt because of the lifelike quality of his creations. At the foot of the Maisonneuve Monument, four statues, including one of Jeanne Mance, who can be seen here caring for a young Native, recall individuals who played key roles in the founding of Montreal. Today, Jeanne Mance would probably be placed at the top of the monument, at Maisonneuve's side.

Photo: Wm. Notman & Son, Sculpture: Louis-Philippe Hébert
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
c. 1896
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
25 x 20 cm
VIEW-2821
© McCord Museum


The public square.

It's well known that memory is a faculty that forgets! So the public square, whether full or deserted (depending on the time of day or the season), becomes an ideal place to mark the key stages of our collective history. Over the years, promoters, artists and designers gather in these places to produce the symbols that will become, during celebrations or inauguration ceremonies, eloquent testimonies of a society that remembers. In this way, busts and monuments of all stripes come to populate our squares, to the greater benefit of future generations.
The public square.

It's well known that memory is a faculty that forgets! So the public square, whether full or deserted (depending on the time of day or the season), becomes an ideal place to mark the key stages of our collective history. Over the years, promoters, artists and designers gather in these places to produce the symbols that will become, during celebrations or inauguration ceremonies, eloquent testimonies of a society that remembers. In this way, busts and monuments of all stripes come to populate our squares, to the greater benefit of future generations.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Design of the Statue

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.

Engraving: Eugene Haberer
McCord Museum of Canadian History
c. 1879
Ink on paper - Photolithography
39.5 x 27.7 cm
M990X.516.1
© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


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
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

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Master Adrien-Odilon Hébert

The young boy on the picture is Adrien-Odilon Hébert (1882-1887), the artist's oldest son. The photograph was taken in the studio at 34 Labelle Street, where Louis-Philippe Hébert worked between 1884 and 1888. On the photograph, one can see quite clearly the clay model for the bust of the monument to Mgr Joseph-David Déziel (1806-1882), a commission to Louis-Philippe Hébert in 1884 by a citizens' committee from Lévis.

Photogrpaher: Wm. Notman & Son
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
c. 1884
17.8 x 12.7 cm
II-75575.1
© McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


Sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850-1917) spent most of his apprenticeship years with Napoléon Bourassa (1827-1916), starting in 1873 .

In 1882, Hébert set up his own studio as an independent artist, on Berri Street in Montreal. With two employees, Olindo Gratton (1855-1941) and Philippe Laperle (1860-1934), he works on several projects of religious, funeral or commemorative monuments .

In 1884, as his studio was becoming too small, Hébert has a second one built on Labelle Street. Several artists have already settled there, including his cousin, architect Jean-Baptiste Bourgeois (1856-1930), and his friend, François-Xavier-Édouard Meloche (1855-1914), a painter and decorator . The new studio was closer to that of his mentor, Napoléon Bourassa, who helped him secure major contracts - including the sculptures for the front of the Parliament Building in Quebec City .
Sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850-1917) spent most of his apprenticeship years with Napoléon Bourassa (1827-1916), starting in 1873 .

In 1882, Hébert set up his own studio as an independent artist, on Berri Street in Montreal. With two employees, Olindo Gratton (1855-1941) and Philippe Laperle (1860-1934), he works on several projects of religious, funeral or commemorative monuments .

In 1884, as his studio was becoming too small, Hébert has a second one built on Labelle Street. Several artists have already settled there, including his cousin, architect Jean-Baptiste Bourgeois (1856-1930), and his friend, François-Xavier-Édouard Meloche (1855-1914), a painter and decorator . The new studio was closer to that of his mentor, Napoléon Bourassa, who helped him secure major contracts - including the sculptures for the front of the Parliament Building in Quebec City .

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify the changes that were operated within Canadian society over two decades (territory, population, economy, etc.);
  • Describe in details changes that he/she is able to observe;
  • Explain and speculate about the reasons that could justify these changes;
  • Make connections between the differences and similarities of the two eras.

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