Paris 1890 – Montreal 1967
View of Montreal Harbour
48.5 x 64.7 cm
Gift of Émile Colas, inv. 2005.226
Hébert regularly exhibited drawings, usually large in size and executed following preparatory studies, which received warm critical approval. He was of the opinion that “Painting is not the only medium an artist can use. Drawing, in all its forms, whether graphite pencil, black chalk, charcoal, woodcut, lithography or etching, provides the means for expressing life.” In particular, he used it to depict life in Montreal’s port, a subject he choose because of its assertive modernity. In View of Montreal Harbour, the shadow cast on the grain loading tower in the centre of the composition depicts the distinctive roof of Silo No. 2, which is only partly shown on the diagonal, a customary feature of the artist’s work, framing the image. Here the play of shadow and light holds our attention more than the meticulous rendering of the cargo ships, lending this charcoal a ghostly character.