lue, green and red. These were the colours preferred in eighteenth-century French Canada. And all embody psychological and symbolic values codified since the Middle Ages in religious iconography and heraldic convention.

The historian Fernand Braudel tells us that "the rule up to the seventeenth century was to paint furniture, ceilings, walls . . . proof of a mad taste for light, bright colours in dark interiors with few openings to the outside."

The patina of age and the story of past time have an appeal that transcends simple, utilitarian use. These are objects whose strength of colour and vigorous line are as powerful in their own right as are the images proposed by the old masters. Witness to another time and sensibility, they can also be read as signs of demographic and social phenomena related to our physical being in the material world.

Late 18th century
Canadian Museum of Civilization

he size, formality, painted surface and careful execution of these three-tiered chandeliers point to use in a church with a formal and well-developed architectural interior. Other very similar chandeliers with the same acanthus- leaf carving and turning are also known, suggesting a common origin in a workshop probably specializing in the manufacture of such items for a variety of ecclesiastical clients.

    Date Created: March 1997 | Last Updated: September 1, 2009