Christan Nicholson » "Canada's most famous living portrait painter", Eclectic Art 2010

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"Canada's most famous living portrait painter", Eclectic Art 2010

Two Prime Ministers of Canada

Two 19th Century Prime Ministers of Canada, possible commissions


In 1986 I was the artist recommended to Senator Keith Davie, by art consultant Sharon London-Liss, to paint the Honourable Pierre Eliott Trudeau's official parliamentary portrait - nothing came of it - then in 1990 I was contacted by Mr. Franklin Silverstone for a mystery commission - I guessed it was the Trudeau commission - Mr. Trudeau decided to offer the commission to his friend, world class artist Jean - Paul Lemieux - Unfortunately Mr. Lemieux died on December 10th of that year - Mr. Trudeau went back to the original four finalist, and I was not successful - thus began a long string of government possibilities (short-listed but not chosen) including Prime Minister John Turner, Governor General Jean Sauve, Governor General Ray Hnatychen, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, a few Cheif Justices, a few Lieutenant Governors, and several Primieres (Peter Lougheed's the most regretable).

I was one of four artists requested to do highly finished studies for portraits of two 19th century Prime Ministers, from black & white xeroxes - using pastel, coloured pencil and ink I produced three amazingly life like drawings, 2 of Sir Mackenzie Bowell, and 1 of Sir John Abbott - although not successful (too contemporary?), the magnificent drawings were immediately purchased by two private collectors.

  • Sir Mackenzie Bowell in Windsor Uniform, priv. coll.
  • Sir Mackenzie Bowell in Beaver Coat, priv. coll.
  • Sir John Abbott, priv. coll.