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Ceiling of the House of Commons Chamber

Ceiling of the House of Commons Chamber

The ceiling of the House of Commons Chamber is decorated with a magnificent linen canvas, richly painted. The design includes heraldic symbols from the Canadian, provincial and territorial coats of arms, inserted in medallions at the intersections of diagonal stencilled bands. The New York decorating firm of Mack, Jenney and Tyler submitted a watercolour sketch of the design in the spring of 1920, at the request of architect John A. Pearson.

The ceiling cove is covered with a turquoise-green colour, overlaid with a gilded honeycomb mesh. The gold-leaf cornice exhibits delicate cusped arches, terminated with pendant drops, and capped with a row of cheerful little figures, broken at intervals by cherubs holding a cartouche. Behind the small figures flows a colourful painted grapevine featuring Tudor roses. The whole is crowned with a gold-leaf cresting. The ceiling cove is made of cork plaster, used for its acoustical properties.

Ceiling detail

Sculptor Ferdinand L. Cerracchio modelled the ceiling ornaments in 1919, and the firm of Mack, Jenney and Tyler executed the decorative painting in 1920.

In 1965, a contract for the restoration of the canvas was awarded to Antonio Maranzi. The fabric ceiling was cleaned, stretched and repainted in preparation for the Canada's Centennial celebrations in 1967.

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