. louis-philippe hérbert: sculptor of the south african war memorial

 

 

 Louis-Philippe Hébert 

 

1850 - 1917

 

     Louis-Philippe Hébert was one of Canada's earliest world class artists. In his lifetime he completed over 40 monuments, busts, medals and statues in wood, bronze and terra-cotta. His last and only equestrian monument is located in Calgary, at Central Memorial Park. It is the South Africa War Memorial.

Born into a large farming family in rural Quebec, he decides that the life of a farmer is not for him. In 1869 he read a recruitment advertisement to go to the Papal States to defend against Garibaldi and Italian unification. Hébert left home to join the Canadian detachment of the Pope’s Zouaves.
During his year in Rome, he encounters the rich sculptural history of Europe. When he arrived home, Louis-Philippe Hébert began sculpting and joined Quebec sculptor Napoleon Bourassa in his studio as an apprentice. He stays for 6 years, working mainly on wooden religious figures for the church and learning his craft.
 

Louis-Philippe Hébert was a very driven, and soon his work eclipsed that of his mentor Bourassa. Thereafter he received increasingly important commissions to complete work in Canada and abroad. In 1880, Hébert became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in Canada.  At this time he also won the competition for the Canadian Monument to Frontenac. One of the stipulations of winning this commission was he was to spend a few months in Paris, learning from the work of the European masters. Upon returning, it was decided that his ability was not yet developed enough so he was sent back to Paris again for an extended period of time.  By this time, not only had Hébert's ability as a sculptor developed enough to be respected in Canada, but in Paris as well. Hébert began exhibiting and gaining acclaim in Paris, then bringing some of the work back home to Canada - allowing Hébert to set up a successful and acclaimed studio in Paris. This is where he completed all his major works, even those commissioned from Canada.

He was the first Canadian-born commemorative sculptor, and his 40 monuments include Queen Victoria (Ottawa); Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, Monseigneur Bourget and Edward VII (Montréal); Monseigneur de Laval (Québec); and 6 sculptures in front of the Québec parliament, Québec City. He also sculpted busts, commemorative medals and numerous statues in wood, bronze and terra-cotta. For many years he taught at Montréal's Conseil des arts et manufactures.

The South African War Memorial

 


 

Louis-Philippe Hébert (1850 - 1917), one of Canada's most decorated international sculptors.

 

 


 

Aside from his membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1880), Hébert was awarded the Medal of Confederation (1894), Bronze Medal (Paris 1889), made a chevalier of France's Legion of Honour (1901), and Companion of St Michael and St George (Great Britain, 1903), Chevalier de St. Gregoire le Grand (Rome 1903). In 1971, the St-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montréal honoured his memory with the Prix Philippe-Hébert, given to an artist of outstanding ability and stature in Québec arts.

Hébert’s last monument to be completed was the South African War Memorial in Central Memorial Park. Commissioned in 1911, it was finished in 1914. As it was his first and only equestrian statue, Hébert went to great lengths to ensure the statue was as accurate as possible. He had an Alberta Quarter Horse shipped to his studio in Quebec, and he came to Calgary to view the Alberta Horses in their environment. Standing at 35 feet tall, the statue is now the centerpiece of the park and is regarded as one of Hébert’s best pieces of work.

. to offer comments, corrections, or improvements to this article, email: heritage@beltline.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 Louis-Philipe Hébert 

 

1850 - 1917

 

     Louis-Philipe Hébert was one of Canada's earliest world class artists. In his lifetime he completed over 40 monuments, busts, medals and statues in wood, bronze and terra-cotta. His last and only equestrian monument is located in Calgary, at Central Memorial Park. It is the South Africa War Memorial.

Born into a large farming family in rural Quebec, he decides that the life of a farmer is not for him. In 1869 he read a recruitment advertisement to go to the Papal States to defend against Garibaldi and Italian unification. Hébert left home to join the Canadian detachment of the Pope’s Zouaves.
During his year in Rome, he encounters the rich sculptural history of Europe. When he arrived home, Louis-Philipe Hébert began sculpting and joined Quebec sculptor Napoleon Bourassa in his studio as an apprentice. He stays for 6 years, working mainly on wooden religious figures for the church and learning his craft.
 

Louis-Philipe Hébert was a very driven, and soon his work eclipsed that of his mentor Bourassa. Thereafter he received increasingly important commissions to complete work in Canada and abroad. In 1880, Hébert became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in Canada.  At this time he also won the competition for the Canadian Monument to Frontenac. One of the stipulations of winning this commission was he was to spend a few months in Paris, learning from the work of the European masters. Upon returning, it was decided that his ability was not yet developed enough so he was sent back to Paris again for an extended period of time.  By this time, not only had Hébert 's ability as a sculptor developed enough to be respected in Canada, but in Paris as well. Hébert began exhibiting and gaining acclaim in Paris, then bringing some of the work back home to Canada - allowing Hébert to set up a successful and acclaimed studio in Paris. This is where he completed all his major works, even those commissioned from Canada.

He was the first Canadian-born commemorative sculptor, and his 40 monuments include Queen Victoria (Ottawa); Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, Monseigneur Bourget and Edward VII (Montréal); Monseigneur de Laval (Québec); and 6 sculptures in front of the Québec parliament, Québec City. He also sculpted busts, commemorative medals and numerous statues in wood, bronze and terra-cotta. For many years he taught at Montréal's Conseil des arts et manufactures.

The South African War Memorial

 

 

 


 

Louis-Philipe Hébert (1850 - 1917), one of Canada's most decorated international sculptors.

 

 


 

Aside from his membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1880), Hébert was awarded the Medal of Confederation (1894), Bronze Medal (Paris 1889), made a chevalier of France's Legion of Honour (1901), and Companion of St Michael and St George (Great Britain, 1903), Chevalier de St. Gregoire le Grand (Rome 1903). In 1971, the St-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montréal honoured his memory with the Prix Philippe-Hébert, given to an artist of outstanding ability and stature in Québec arts.

Hébert’s last monument to be completed was the South African War Memorial in Central Memorial Park. Commissioned in 1911, it was finished in 1914. As it was his first and only equestrian statue, Hébert went to great lengths to ensure the statue was as accurate as possible. He had an Alberta Quarter Horse shipped to his studio in Quebec, and he came to Calgary to view the Alberta Horses in their environment. Standing at 35 feet tall, the statue is now the centerpiece of the park and is regarded as one of Hébert’s best pieces of work.

. to offer comments, corrections, or improvements to this article, email: heritage@beltline.ca

 

 

 

 

 

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