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George Edward Wade

Monument à sir John A. Macdonald

1895
Presentation of the artwork
In 1895, the site chosen for installation of the monument to Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the south part of Dominion Square, positioning it as the focal point of a long perspective view. In 1967, this part of the square was renamed Place du Canada, which was a perfect fit with the presence of the monument, Macdonald having been one of the Fathers of Confederation and Canada’s first prime minister.

Sheltered under an immense canopy, the statue of Macdonald, twice life size, is planted firmly. He is portrayed in his official function as State dignitary of the Parliament of Canada, dressed in the costume of a Privy Imperial Councillor. Following the sculptural convention of the time, he holds a document in his hand, as did all prominent politicians in their statues. The canopy sits on an elevated pedestal, and its coffered vault is supported by 12 columns with Corinthian capitals, arranged in threes at each corner. On top of the vault, a fluted column, tapered at the top, supports an allegorical figure, draped in Greek style and arranged as a crown, like a cathedral spire. The figure symbolizes Canada, and the seven boys with linked arms that hold each of the shields at the foot of the column represent the seven provinces. The grouping composed of the column, “Canada,” and the “seven provinces” sits on four elongated lions at each corner of the monument.

With its allegorical figures and decorative elements, the monument underlines the major events of Macdonald’s government, which contributed to the expansion of Canada. Among the monuments erected to the memory of Macdonald, the one in Montréal is the most imposing and elaborate.
Associated events
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, a lawyer and businessman, was, along with Sir George-Étienne Cartier, the great architect of Canadian Confederation. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived in Canada with his family when he was five. In 1867, he and Cartier presided over the first cabinet of the Dominion of Canada. He was prime minister from 1867 to 1873, and then from 1878 to 1891. Under his government, the first trans-Canadian railway was completed under the aegis of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Canada’s first prime minister, Macdonald died in Ottawa in 1891.
George Edward Wade
Presentation of the artwork
In 1895, the site chosen for installation of the monument to Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the south part of Dominion Square, positioning it as the focal point of a long perspective view. In 1967, this part of the square was renamed Place du Canada, which was a perfect fit with the presence of the monument, Macdonald having been one of the Fathers of Confederation and Canada’s first prime minister.

Sheltered under an immense canopy, the statue of Macdonald, twice life size, is planted firmly. He is portrayed in his official function as State dignitary of the Parliament of Canada, dressed in the costume of a Privy Imperial Councillor. Following the sculptural convention of the time, he holds a document in his hand, as did all prominent politicians in their statues. The canopy sits on an elevated pedestal, and its coffered vault is supported by 12 columns with Corinthian capitals, arranged in threes at each corner. On top of the vault, a fluted column, tapered at the top, supports an allegorical figure, draped in Greek style and arranged as a crown, like a cathedral spire. The figure symbolizes Canada, and the seven boys with linked arms that hold each of the shields at the foot of the column represent the seven provinces. The grouping composed of the column, “Canada,” and the “seven provinces” sits on four elongated lions at each corner of the monument.

With its allegorical figures and decorative elements, the monument underlines the major events of Macdonald’s government, which contributed to the expansion of Canada. Among the monuments erected to the memory of Macdonald, the one in Montréal is the most imposing and elaborate.
Associated events
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, a lawyer and businessman, was, along with Sir George-Étienne Cartier, the great architect of Canadian Confederation. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived in Canada with his family when he was five. In 1867, he and Cartier presided over the first cabinet of the Dominion of Canada. He was prime minister from 1867 to 1873, and then from 1878 to 1891. Under his government, the first trans-Canadian railway was completed under the aegis of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Canada’s first prime minister, Macdonald died in Ottawa in 1891.
George Edward Wade
Detail
Category
Fine Arts
Subcategory
Sculpture
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
1895
Mode of acquisition:
Donation by public subscription
Accession date
June 6 1895
Materials
Bronze; granite
General dimensions
1800 x 486 x 432 cm
Manufacturer
  • Morris Singer Art Foundry LTD
  • Reid, Robert
Monument à sir John A. Macdonald
Borough
Ville-Marie
Park
Place du Canada