Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent

Conveying feeling

Engraving of a cruise steamer at the foot of a huge cliff.

Under cap Trinité, engraving by Frederick Boley Schell.

Scanned excerpt from the book Picturesque Canada: The Country as It Was and Is (O’Brien and Grant, Eds., 1882‒1884).

Picturesque Canada: The Country as It Was and Is describes the attraction of Canada, with eastern Quebec occupying a prominent place. The book had two editors: Lucius O’Brien, a Canadian artist who was well known at the time, and George Monro Grant, a fervent opponent of capitalist industrialization. Both men especially loved picturesque scenes presented in a rural aesthetic. This sensibility was popular at the time and readers gobbled these kinds of images up. The book was quite successful. This is perhaps due in part to Canadians’ curiosity about their country, but it was also surely because this kind of book fed a uniquely Canadian imagination. 

This engraving illustrates the editors’ message well: There are still places unspoiled by “progress” where Nature commands respect.

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