Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back
Currently shown
François Malepart de Beaucourt

Portrait of an Architect, Master of a Masonic Lodge in Cap-François, Saint-Domingue (Now Haiti)

Artist

François Malepart de Beaucourt
La Prairie, Quebec, 1740 – Montreal 1794

Title

Portrait of an Architect, Master of a Masonic Lodge in Cap-François, Saint-Domingue (Now Haiti)

Date

1787

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

70.2 x 57.2 cm

Credits

Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 2006.114

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Before the recent discovery of this portrait of an architect dated 1787, only the Portrait of a Haitian Woman (McCord Museum, Montreal) dating from 1786 suggested that Beaucourt had spent any time in the West Indies. The 1787 painting made it possible to confirm both this and the fact that in 1788 the painter belonged to the Masonic lodge of La Vérité. In the summer of 1791, the slave revolt pillaged and burned the town of Cap-François, where the portrait of the architect was painted. Beaucourt fled to Philadelphia, where the majority of the island’s emigrés were concentrated. He was back in Montreal in 1792. Based on the paintings executed up to the time of the artist’s death in 1793, art historian Gérard Morisset recognized his connection with the Freemasons, confirmed by the symbolic presence of three dots forming a triangle beside the artist’s signature in several instances. In the Museum’s portrait, the three dots are aligned, and the signature of the artist appears in the triangular turned up corner of the blueprint, apparently pointing deferentially toward the sitter.

A touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation