The Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald
Object name: Painting
Artist: Henry Sandham
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 118.7 x 152.4 cm
Catalogue no.: O-795
Unveiled in 1890 in the original Parliament Building on the occasion of Sir John Alexander Macdonald’s 75th birthday, this official portrait depicts Canada’s first Prime Minister as a confident, relaxed and dignified elder statesman. He is shown dressed in the uniform of the Imperial Privy Council with the regalia of the Order of the Bath. A consummate politician, he is best remembered for his instrumental role in the creation of Confederation.
Henry Sandham, a native of Montreal, acquired his early artistic training at the Notman Photographic Studio, where he rose to head the art department. He was a talented and versatile artist recognized for his portraits, landscapes and historical paintings, as well as for his illustrations of books and periodicals.