Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada

June 26, 2008 08:00 ET

Library and Archives Canada Brings Early Impressions of Quebec to the Governor General's Residence at the Citadelle

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - Early Impressions of Quebec will open today at the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle of Quebec in honour of the 400th celebration. Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond along with other distinguished guests proudly inaugurated this new exhibit now on display inside the Residence. This must-see exhibition includes exceptional works including paintings, rare books and other significant documents relating to the history and landscape of Quebec drawn from the permanent holdings at Library and Archives Canada.

Well into the 19th century, the landscape, events and everyday lives of the people who shaped our country were captured by artists of the times. Their works provide a valuable visual record of Canada's history. In 2002, Library and Archives Canada acquired more than 3,300 prints, 700 watercolours and drawings, and more than 100 maps and paintings from the Peter Winkworth Collection. The late Peter Winkworth was a passionate collector of Canadiana throughout his lifetime. Over a period of some 45 years, this Quebec-born British resident amassed a huge collection of paintings, prints, watercolours, drawings and other types of Canadian art. Early Impressions of Quebec is a significant part of this Collection.

Early Impressions of Quebec is divided into three thematic sections: Conflict and Commerce explores the social, religious, territorial and commercial conflicts that arose among the various groups, and shows some of the economic and industrial developments of the 16th century and onwards; New Lands, New Peoples presents views of Quebec's physical and natural landscape, and highlights scenes depicting the lives of our country's Indigenous peoples; and finally, Life and Leisure illustrates the changes in Quebec's population and politics, its commercial and industrial prosperity, the establishment of educational and artistic institutions, and the advent of leisure time, pastimes and recreation.

Included in the exhibition are works by many well-known artists including James Pattison Cockburn, Frances Anne Hopkins and George Heriot. Of special note is a beautiful Hopkins watercolour, which details how timber was shipped to Quebec in the 1800s.

Early Impressions of Quebec will run from June 26 to September 1, 2008, at the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle of Quebec.



Mr. Peter Winkworth, C.M. (1929-2005), a Canadian-born scholar who lived in Britain, amassed a unique and unequalled private collection of original Canadian art, worth almost $6 million, over a period of some 50 years-a collection that documents four centuries of Canadian history. The subjects of the works include exploration, settlement, trade and commerce, industry and urban growth, and developments in society, art and literature. Artists such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Edwin Whitefield, William Armstrong, Emile Petitot, Peter Rindisbacher, James Pattison Cockburn, James Duncan, and Frances Anne Hopkins are included. The acquisition of this superb collection by Library and Archives Canada has enabled Canada to repatriate a significant, rare and valuable part of its cultural and historical heritage. One of the most important acquisitions of Canadiana ever made by our institution, it contains a wealth of information on the Canadian experience.

Comprising more than 4,000 items, the collection includes:

- 453 individual watercolours and 240 drawings

- 7 albums of watercolours, drawings, prints and photos

- more than 3,000 individual prints, etchings, aquatints, mezzotints, lithographs, and serigraphs

- 27 bound volumes containing prints, etchings and lithographs

- 100 maps, 8 oil paintings, and related material

The works can be grouped under the following major historical themes:

- The Seven Years' War

- General Wolfe and his officers

- Aboriginal life in North America

- Arctic exploration

- The War of 1812

- The Rebellions of 1837

- Montreal and Niagara Falls

Some examples of works in the collection:

- Chaudiere Falls, Quebec, Joseph Legare, ca. 1840, R9266-546

- Panoramic sketch of Montreal from the mountain, 1848, George Seton, R9266-380

- A Plan of the Inhabited Part of the Province of Quebec, ca. 1785, James Peachey, R9266-334

- The timber raft, Quebec, ca. 1868, Frances Anne Hopkins, R9266-278

Some expert opinions:

"This collection ... is unequalled in its scope to anything remaining in private hands."

David Kelsey, Fine Art Appraiser, Pinneys Auctions, Montreal, Quebec

"I have never in my life seen, or expect to see again, a collection to rival this ... I consider this the finest collection of Canadian related material which exists today."

Jack Kerr-Wilson, Fine Art Appraiser, Phillips-Ward-Price-Jacoby, Toronto, Ontario

To find out more about the collection, visit the Peter Winkworth website at


Contact Information

  • Library and Archives Canada
    Pauline M. Portelance
    Senior Media Relations Officer
    819-994-4589 ou 613-293-4289
    Rideau Hall Press Office
    Marie-Eve Létourneau
    Cell.: 613-302-0912