The Right Honourable Sir Robert Laird Borden
Object name: Painting
Artist: Kenneth Keith Forbes
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 140.2 x 92.4 cm
Catalogue no.: O-851
The portrait of Sir Robert Laird Borden was painted posthumously, with the artist relying on the Prime Minister’s memoirs and photographs, and on interviews with family members. The artist wrote that he “arranged the background of the portrait to enhance Sir Borden’s broad shoulders and beautiful even white hair.” The portraits of Canada’s two wartime Prime Ministers, Sir Robert Laird Borden and William Lyon Mackenzie King, were unveiled together in June 1947.
Kenneth Keith Forbes received his early art instruction in Toronto from his father, the distinguished Canadian portraitist John Colin Forbes. After winning a scholarship, he continued his education in Arbroath, Scotland, and at the London New Art School. He was a champion of the traditionalist school of painting.