he Ambassador’s Office


Charles-Émile PINSON

clear tone underlining dignity emanates from the Ambassador’s Office. The dark furniture contrasts with the polished white marble walls. The scenes were directly burin engraved and inked by Charles Pinson.

The work tells the story of the discovery of Canada by the Vikings in 1000 (north wall, left angle), and the epic of the New France, from 1534-1760.

Champlain showing the maps of New France to Henry IV

Northern Wall : (where the chimney is located). The theme is the arrival of the pioneers. Jacques Cartier can be recognised planting the cross as a tribute to the King of France, François 1st, in 1534, as well as the “Grande Hermine,” central point of this composition, surrounded by the “Petite Hermine” and the “Emerillon.” To the right, Champlain, returned to Paris, shows maps of his travels to Henry IV. As in many other scenes, the majority of the historical characters are depicted with the faces of friends of the artist or personalities of the residence.

Eastern Wall : (behind the Ambassador’s desk).
On the foreground of the panel : Mister Champlain and his young wife assist the first marriage between a pioneer and one of the “King’s wards” who came from France (1616). On an angle, a man in doublet (Eugene Beaudouin, architect of the Embassy) holds the blueprints of the new city, Montreal, founded in 1642, in his hands.

The education of young men of the colony by the Ursulines and the Jesuits.

Southern Wall : (between the two windows overlooking the Park).
To the left : the education of young girls by the nuns from the community of the Ursulines, and of young men by the Jesuits (1635). To the right : the explorers, Louis Jolliet, Father Marquette, and Cavalier de la Salle, headed South, discovering the Mississippi (1673). La Vérendrye (born in Trois-Rivières in 1685), headed West, found the Rocky Mountains on his route (1743). His sons, Francois and Louis, realised his dream of linking the Pacific.

Western Wall :
This panel is a large panoramic view of the city of Québec with, in its centre, a tribute to Wolfe and Montcalm (1759), and Lévis (1760). Under stormy skies, the fortified city dominates the billows of the Saint-Laurent. The book that a young girl is holding recounts the capitulation of Quebec at the end of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, and the capitulation of Montreal in 1760. “Then General Lévis ordered the troops to burn their flags and broke his own sword not to surrender.” The sculpture ornamenting the chimney of the office was created by Louis Leygue, and represents “France.”

© Embassy of France in Canada

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