The brushwork in this presumed portrait of Laurent-Thomas-Brock Boucher surpasses the usual stiffness and austerity of paintings done by self-taught painters during the colonial period. The striking figure with tousled hair offers a local example of Romanticism, a symbol of the affirmation and hopes of an enlightened middle class. The work is from a group, exceptional for the period, of a dozen portraits of the same family.
Laurent-Thomas-Brock Boucher likely received his third given name in honour of Sir Isaac Brock, the Upper Canadian hero who died in October 1812, the month Boucher was born. Brock had achieved fame defending Canada’s territory from the Americans.