Government under fire for substituting Queen’s portrait

Art lovers are upset over a decision by the Canadian government to replace two beloved paintings with a portrait of the Queen in June, just before the Royal visit of William and Kate.  The historic paintings by Quebec modern master Alfred Pellan had been shown prominently in a government building in Ottawa since 1973.  They were removed when it was decided that the wall in question should be a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II instead.

Although Pellan is viewed as one of Canada’s pioneering modern artists, these large, brightly-colored paintings are more traditional.  Called “Canada West Canada East,” they show two coasts — one with details such as totem poles and the Coastal Mountains, the other featuring fishermen, moose and sailboats.

Most of  Pellan’s work reflects his influence in modernizing Canadian painting by introducing cubism and surrealism.

Village – Alfred Pellan, 1934


There are 3 comments

    1. boomerontario

      Hey Ono Wino – Thanks for the comment. Interesting. The two paintings at the top of this post are the works that the Canadian government has had hanging in a building in Ottawa since the 1970s. These are the ones that they replaced with a portrait of the Queen. I don’t think I made it clear enough that the cubist painting at the bottom of the post (called Village) is just another example of Alfred Pellan’s work. It doesn’t belong to the government.


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