BAINBRIGGE, Lieutenant Philip John (1817-1881)
Two of the Succession or St. Fenoli [i.e. Féréol] Falls / St. Anne's River
Watercolour with traces of pencil and scratching out, inscribed in pencil as above, and in ink 'Given to me by Lt. Bainbrigge Royal Engineers Quebec 6th Feby 1837'. Sheet size: 13 3/4 x 10 inches.
Philip John Bainbrigge (1817-1881), son of General Sir Philip Bainbrigge (1786-1862), was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on January 16, 1817. He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1830 and graduated in 1833. He travelled widely in Upper and Lower Canada and the Maritimes, reporting on fortifications and other defensive measures. He was assigned special survey duty concerning the Maine-New Brunswick boundary dispute and was acting as adjutant from 1841 until his return to England on August 4, 1842.
"Like many British officer-painters, Bainbrigge received his artistic training at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. There, he was instructed in the proper use of perspective and in the handling of light and shade, and he employed these techniques with an ease and spontaneity well-suited to the principles of landscape painting. His rather individual style, while in accordance with the artistic trends of the time, resulted in watercolours that are quite distinctive. A thematic analysis of Bainbrigge's work reveals a definite predilection for depicting rural landscapes - either in summer or winter - into which he would work whatever section of the city he could see from his vantage point. His palette thus consisted of a range of natural colours, such as browns, reds and dark greens, which he applied in varying degrees of thickness." (C. Graham)
Cf. Conrad Graham, Mont Royalville Marie: Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p.103.