Pillar she said...
This week on Sepia Saturday,
the prompt picture is a bas-relief that is part of a monument to Louis Pasteur.
Since I've talked of doctors already on a few occasions,
I'll show you a pillar here in Montreal,
and clarify something as well...
(done in 1808-09).
a "hero" of the British Navy...
The art piece above was by
William Henry Bartlett,
(done in 1839-42).
you see it here looming over the St Lawrence River,
sitting at the top of Jacques Cartier Square,
which was an important market,
previously discussed here.
After reading a summary of his life and achievements,
Lord Nelson may be a hero to some,
but I find that much of his good fortune was due to family and personal connections,
and spinning a good tale...
and others willing to believe everything he said.
Some of his actions [like in Naple, for example] disgusted me,
and in his personal life,
his choice of entertaining an extra conjugal relationship with Lady Hamilton,
while being a "friend" to Lord Hamilton...
(a true friend doesn't screw your wife!!!),
and a child being issued out of this affair,
it shows poor judgement and no moral fiber in my opinion.
He may have been a good strategist and have his share of success [and failures too],
he would not be the kind of company I'd keep...
The monument still stands today at the same location.
I took these pictures this week.
I couldn't use quite the same angle as in the artwork,
because it would have meant climbing a small wall circling the grounds of CityHall,
and someone was watching...
So I went to the building next door and climbed their wall!!
You can see the monument dominating the square and its slow incline toward the river,
and a row of old building lining the square.
I did a little photoshop on it to add drama...
You know me:
Can never leave it alone, can I?!?
Upon reading this summary,
I failed to understand the pertinence of this monument in Montreal
as his history never really pertained to us here,
having been mostly active in Europe and the West Indies.
He did dropped by but nothing worthy happened,
that I know of...
So why this?!?
Must we celebrate some foreign hero?!?
It is nothing more than a faded symbol of the British Imperialism
over French culture prevailing in Montreal.
Kind of arrogant,
if you ask me,
but we fortunately have many more art pieces that speak more eloquently of OUR History.
the monument does have a certain appeal and is well done,
even if it remains irrelevant.
in my opinion...
I did remove some pigeon droppings from his face.
Gotta give me credit for that,
At the base of the column,
I don't recall reading this being part of his coat of arms;
boats and a palm tree and a lion's paw and such, yes,
but no 'gator...
Here is depicted the Battle of Copenhagen,
with the truce accepted by Crown Prince Frederick after a difficult battle.
It says here that not one British ship was lost,
but the summary does mention that both British and Danish fleets were heavily damaged...
Whom to believe?!?...
This here is a scene of the Battle of the Nile
where Nelson foiled Napoleon's plans over Egypt in 1798.
This is on the east side of the monument,
and possibly one of the reasons some French in Montreal may have supported this project
in an anti-napoleonic sentiment[?].
On the west side,
a scene of the Trafalgar Battle in 1805,
which proved to be fatal to Nelson,
despite a victory.
While some see him as a prime example of duty performed,
I have already expressed my opinion
and see no reason to change it.
You see a man for every actions he takes,
not just a few chosen ones
to show him under a better light...
Confession time for me:
Forgive me for I have sinned.
A sin of ignorance,
you might say.
I've known [or should I say seen?] this monument for a long, long time,
and I took a picture years ago,
mentioning this was a monument to Jacques Cartier,
since it was set on Jacques Cartier Square.
I had never paid it any real attention
and ever neglected reading the inscriptions
as it is most often surrounded by tourists...
I only presumed it was Jacques Cartier because of the name of the square
and its significance to our history.
Never could I imagine it'd be someone else standing atop this column.
a closer look would have given me a clue that the uniform was too "recent"
to be that of Mister Cartier.
The statue you see here is not the original but a copy installed in 1997
while the original is now indoor for preservation,
at the Centre d'Histoire de Montreal.
While I am glad to be better informed now,
I am not especially impressed by my discovery
and would have preferred a more endearing character.
Better luck next time.
Time for you to hop back to
and its many contributors.
but before you go,
a little something:
Dublin also had such a monument,
until some rogue IRA volunteers did away with it with some explosives...
I do not advocate such violent actions,
but the song does have a certain flair.
Leave it to the Irish!!!