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The Right Honourable Sir John Sparrow David Thompson

The Right Honourable Sir John Sparrow David Thompson
Prime Minister
1892-1894

Object name: Painting
Artist: John Wycliffe Lowes Forster
Date: 1897
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 143 x 106.8 cm
Catalogue no.: O-792

In this three-quarter-length portrait, Sir John Sparrow David Thompson looks distinguished in the ornate uniform of the Imperial Privy Council. He wore this uniform for his investiture by Queen Victoria into the Imperial Privy Council in 1894. Sadly, Thompson died at Windsor Castle following the ceremony.

The Artist

John Wycliffe Lowes Forster completed the portrait of Thompson in 1897. The artist approached the Speaker, who supported the purchase by the House of Commons. The portrait was rescued from the fire that destroyed the original Parliament Building in 1916.

Born in Norval, Ontario, Forster studied portraiture first in Toronto and then in Paris at the Atelier Julian. He opened a studio upon his return to Toronto and soon became one of Canada’s leading portrait painters.

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