Paysage au monument à Wolfe (Landscape with Monument to Wolfe)

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Oil on canvas
131.3 174.6 cm
Collection du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, purchase
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The landscape in this work is completely imaginary. Joseph Légaré stages a scene between an Indigenous figure and a statue of James Wolfe in a mythical forest. Wolfe is the British general who died during the 1759 battle of the Plains of Abraham in which Britain conquered New France (now Quebec).

Légaré, the first landscape painter in Canada, fought for the political rights of French Canadians. Here, he alludes to the tensions between the English and the French in Quebec. Scholars have argued that the Indigenous figure – who appears to be a Huron chief – is an allegory for French Canadian nationalism.