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Sir Isaac Brock returns to Canada

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Wednesday 18 April 2012

The only known portrait of Guernsey‐born General Sir Isaac Brock made during his lifetime, is travelling back to Canada this spring to mark the 200th anniversary of his death.

The portrait which was bought by the States of Guernsey in 2009 is being loaned by Guernsey Museum to the Riverbrink Art Museum, Ontario, which is near the battlefield at Queenston. The exhibition in Canada is being organised and funded by the Riverbrink Art Museum.

Guernsey Museums Director Dr Jason Monaghan said: 

"We are privileged to support this exhibition by lending Brock's portrait. The events of1812 were pivotal in the early history of Canada and without Brock's victories at Queenston and Detroit the future of that country might have taken a very different course".

Brock's portrait is a small pastel and is thought to be the only likeness of the adult Brock surviving.It is not signed but is believed to have been the work of Dutch artist Gerrit Schipper made around 1808‐9 whilst Brock was stationed in Canada.

Schipper is thought to have undertaken several dozen pastel portraits of leading North Americans during his career, mainly as personal commissions. He appears to have used an experimental form of light-box projection in order to make an outline for his portrait.

The United States declared war on Britain in June 1812 and conflict raged for two and a half years until it came to an inconclusive end. United States forces made several attempts to conquer Canada that were fought off by a combination of British troops, Canadian volunteers and allied 'Red Indian' tribes. General Brock  was shot dead part‐way through the battle at Queenston where a large monument now stands to his memory.

Many events are taking place in Canada this year to mark the start of 'The war of 1812', Guernsey Museums will be organising events and a small display to mark 'Brock Day' on  13th October, and other Brock‐related activities will be taking place throughout the year.

-Ends-

Contact information:

Jason Monaghan, Museums Director
Tel: 01481 709702
E‐mail:  jason.monaghan@cultureleisure.gov.gg

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