Today in Canadian Art History: 1833 – Canada’s First Art Gallery Opened in Quebec City by Painter Joseph Légaré


The Corpus Christi Procession, Nicolet, c. 1832

The Corpus Christi Procession, Nicolet, c. 1832 (National Gallery of Canada)

October 13, 1833 – Painter Joseph Légaré opened Canada’s first art gallery in Quebec City where he showed his personal collection of European canvases and engravings.

Joseph LégaréLégaré purchased a number of paintings from the Abbé Desjardins collection, an extensive assortment of European canvases sent to Quebec from France at the time of the French Revolution. Their mainly religious subject matter and technical style appealed to the young artist, and his early work consisted of large copies of them for churches and religious orders. He also purchased and copied from other collections…

“In his sensitivity to new ideas and involvement in the events of his time, the Quebec painter Joseph Légaré holds an exceptional place in the history of early Canadian art.”

* Sources: Today in Canadian History; National Gallery of Canada