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Cynthia G. Renard

The Holy Canadian Martyrs
From the series “The Quebec Pavilion”


Cynthia G. Renard
Born in Montreal in 1969


The Holy Canadian Martyrs
From the series “The Quebec Pavilion”




Acrylic on canvas


225 x 246 cm


Gift of the artist, inv. 2014.102


Quebec and Canadian Art

The Holy Canadian Martyrs is one of a series of works entitled “The Quebec Pavilion” (2000-2003) in which the Quebec painter and poet Cynthia G. Renard (Cynthia Girard) re-examines the history of Quebec and its founding myths. They offer a critical reappraisal of the development of Quebec’s national identity, which for so long was dependent on the power of religion. Renard returns, using satire to underline their inconsistency, to a number of stories passed down from generation to generation. By illustrating here the various tortures endured by Canadian missionaries at the hands of the indigenous peoples, the artist seeks to denounce the version of history propagated by the colonizers, in which the torturer is seen as a victim. On a monochrome background that pays homage to the tradition of the Plastician painters of Quebec, Renard superimposes strip cartoon scenes in which the apparently naïve style reminds us that these stories were for many years taught to children.

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