STRATHCONA & MOUNT ROYAL, Lord (Sir Donald Smith)(Drawing, 1899)

Bust-length, charcoal, pencil and pastel drawing, 22″ x 15.3/4″ (56 cm x 40 cm). Annotated in the artist’s handwriting ‘Lord Strathcona & Mount Royal’ upper right. Signed and dated upper left ‘London, 1899, A. Muller-Ury.’

McGill University Visual Arts Collection, Montreal, Canada.

KRAUSHAAR ART GALLERIES, 260, Fifth Avenue (between 28th – 29th Streets), New York, January 5 – 19, 1901

Post, Denver, Colorado, January 20, 1901
Art Interchange, February 1901

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Sir Donald Alexander Smith was born in Scotland on August 6, 1820. He was one of the Canadian commercial pioneers, railroad builders and investors. He became a Canadian High Commissioner and was raised to the peerage in 1897. He owned a beautiful stone house in Dorchester Street, Montreal in 1883 which was often used in later years by diplomatic bodies. He died on January 21, 1914.

Bibliography of sitter:

Beckles Willson, The Life of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, 2 Vols., The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1915

Donna McDonald, Lord Strathcona: A Biography of Donald Alexander Smith, 1996

This drawing was given by the artist to the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, at the end of December 1916, and the following letter, dated January 13, 1917, in the artist’s papers, acts as a receipt:

‘Dear Sir,

On behalf of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University I wish to offer you an expression of our thanks and appreciation for the splendid sketch of Lord Strathcona which has recently come to us through Dr. F. J. Shepherd.

I can assure you that the faculty appreciates this donation highly not only because of its artistic excellence but also because of the fact that the subject of the sketch was in his lifetime our greatest benefactor.

        With an expression also of my personal thanks,

                  I remain,

                              Yours sincerely, A. D. Blackader, Acting-Dean.’

The Faculty of Medicine at McGill University had burned down in 1907 and Strathcona had contibuted largely to its re-erection on a slightly higher position further up the site.