THE GREAT PEACE OF MONTREAL 1701
“In 2003 I was approached by a Swiss Banker who was interested in commissioning me to do the principal painting for his self-owned bank in Montreal. I had already been approached by a Japanese Banker, here in Vancouver–who also owned his own bank and bought a large Harley Davidson painting for his Boardroom. The Swiss Banker, whose bank was in Montreal, wanted me to reproduce The Great Peace of Montreal, the famous Peace Treaty of 1701.
It was an honour and I did enjoy having my works in such prominence, but unfortunately have no records – here in Vancouver I took no photos and did not ask the Swiss Banker to take photos. Years back, we were constantly on the move, not only living in different parts of the world, but also exhibiting in different parts of the world. At that time, we didn’t really think of the value of historical records of my work in strategic locations around the world.
The Swiss Banker was already an admirer of my native work, and his idea was to have a study of a Huron Native in the foreground, as the Hurons among other Indigenous Groups were allied with the French–so important that a Huron Native would be in the forefront of the painting. The backdrop was a combination of paintings from that time period, with the natives and French that had gathered together with the British for the signing of the Treaty. I did have to do quite a bit of research on the subject- it is always crucial that the main figure is commanding, giving that powerful presence I am always trying to introduce to make a predominant statement.
We had already spent one year in Quebec City, at the time, represented by a Gallery on Rue St. Paul(now retired) and also with a gallery in Montreal. When living in Quebec, one becomes very aware of their history and the fascination of Quebec City, one of the oldest European settlements in North America – founded nearly 400 years ago and quickly minted as the “Capital of New France,” the city eventually fell under British rule before Canada declared independence in 1867.
I did feel a connection, in particular to this subject matter, due to our familiarity with Quebec and the Quebecois and their history that made a statement in my painting THE GREAT PEACE OF MONTREAL 1701.”
Quebec City was founded in 1608. Old Quebec is surrounded by fortified city walls that were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, making this one of my most historic Quebec City facts.
THE GREAT PEACE OF MONTREAL 1701
The Great Peace of Montreal was a peace treaty between New France and 39 First Nations of North America that ended the Beaver Wars. It was signed on August 4, 1701, by Louis-Hector de Callière, governor of New France, and 1300 representatives of 39 Indigenous nations. In summer 1701, Montréal was the scene of a major historical event: the signature of the Great Peace treaty. This treaty put an end to several decades of conflict between the Iroquois, allies of the English, and the French and their allied Indigenous People(Hurons). As such, it marks the turning point in Franco-Amerindian relations featuring Louis Hector de Callière and Kondiaronk, the Huron-Wendat Grand Chief.
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