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Louis-Philippe Hébert

Woodland Flower

Artist

Louis-Philippe Hébert
Sainte-Sophie-d'Halifax, Quebec, 1850 – Westmount, Quebec, 1917

Title

Woodland Flower

Date

1897

Materials

Bronze

Dimensions

53.3 x 39.8 x 16.5 cm

Founder

Cast R. Hohwiller, Paris

Credits

Gift in memory of Michel Moreault, inv. 2018.415

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Woodland Flower is one of three bronze statuettes belonging to a body of work that at the time was unrivalled in Quebec and the rest of Canada. Those depictions of Indigenous women do not avoid stereotypes. The academic-style pose suggests that Hébert worked with a studio model who, it goes without saying, was not from a First Nation. True to his time and its attitudes, and relying on the historical and literary resources at his disposal, the artist lent his model the features of a seductress, which would now be unthinkable. Hébert took his inspiration for this work from the poem “La fille des bois” [“Girl of the Woodlands”] by the journalist, poet, lawyer and judge Gonzalve Desaulniers. The inscription of the line “For a white warrior had captured her heart” on the sculpture’s base contributes to the romantic, and even erotic, nature of its subject.

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