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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Robert La Palme

Deux murales

Presentation of the artwork
The two murals decorate the restaurant of the Botanical Garden. The larger one frames the entrance and the other one is at the back of the main dining room. These two mosaics portraying moments in Canadian history were executed from plates by Robert Lapalme. The one at the back of the room illustrates the explorers’ first meal during the first voyage of Jacques Cartier, in 1534. The one at the entrance traces the local history of dining tables in inns from early colonial times to the late nineteenth century.

Lapalme’s style is recognizable in these paintings due to their sinuous lines and cubist accents (which are reminiscent of the paintings of his friend Alfred Pellan, on whom he apparently had some influence). The artist’s penchant for a didactic form of art that illustrates the history of Montréal is also found in these murals. At the time when he was artistic director of the Montréal Métro, Lapalme had formulated a policy favouring integration exclusively of figurative and historical artworks. Following a controversy involving the Automatists, he was replaced by painter Jean-Paul Mousseau, who favoured a less authoritative and more exploratory approach.
Associated events
The artwork commemorates the history of the restoration during the New France era.
Robert La Palme
A self-taught artist, Robert La Palme is known for being one of the great Canadian political caricaturists of the twentieth century. In the 1940s, he became actively involved in the fight against the government of Maurice Duplessis, whom he relentlessly caricatured in the daily Le Devoir. He organized the Salon international de la caricature (from 1963 to 1988), and was artistic director of Expo 67 and the Montréal Métro. Influenced by cubism, La Palme was also a painter; he produced a series of paintings for the Berri-UQAM Métro station and Place des Arts.
Awards and honours
  • Création du prix Robert-LaPalme, 2006
  • Membre de l'Académie des Grands Montréalais, 1992
  • Officier de l'Ordre du Canada, 1972
  • Meilleur dessin éditorial, National Newspaper Award, 1952
Variation of title
Deux murales (céramique)
Decorative Arts
Collection name
Integration with architecture
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Ceramic; paint
General dimensions
Petite : 218 x 744 cm Grande : 427 x 881 cm
Deux murales
Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie
Jardin botanique
Civic address
4101, rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, Québec, H1X 2B2