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Philip John Bainbrigge

The Terrace, Quebec City. Monument to Wolfe and Montcalm


Philip John Bainbrigge
Lichfield, England, 1817 – Blackheath, England, 1881


The Terrace, Quebec City. Monument to Wolfe and Montcalm




Watercolour over traces of graphite


19.5 x 28.6 cm


Purchase, gift of Warda Drummond and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1969.1643


Graphic Arts

Richard Dillon, after Paul Sandby Junior, and Philip John Bainbrigge established their rules of proportion like architects to show how a building or monument achieves balance in space. Their images are first and foremost descriptive, and the line drawing emphasizes an aversion to disorder. Dillon and Bainbrigge skilfully place their main subject off-centre, thus transforming the image into a visual argument. In Montreal, Notre-Dame Church “juts out” into the wide street to give it prominence. At the same time, the church makes space around it to accommodate the activities of everyday life, while showing that they take place on church land. With his monument to Wolfe and Montcalm, Bainbrigge takes the utmost care to insert politics by directing our gaze towards the inscription of the name of the vanquished and framing the obelisk with the fortifications of the Citadel. The constructed generates the representation, which, in turn, feeds the wellspring of collective memory.

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