Théophile Hamel, self-portrait c. 1837
|Died||23 December 1870 53) (aged|
Théophile-Abraham Hamel (8 November 1817 – 23 December 1870) was a Canadian artist who painted mainly portraits and religious images in 19th-century Quebec.
Hamel was born in 1817 in Sainte-Foy (then a suburb of Quebec City), the son of a successful farmer. Hamel's paternal ancestry can be traced to French immigrant Jean Hamel, who arrived in New France from Avremesnil (Normandy) in 1656. In 1834 Théophile was already taking art lessons from Antoine Plamondon. For a while he attended the Accademia di San Luca, in Rome. He was very much interested in the works of the Romantics.
His early portraits show a mixture of European romanticism and Canadian simplicity. His style gradually changed to match the taste of his clients for simple, honest, even prim portraits.
In 1838 he painted 'Three Indian Chiefs Leading a Delegation to Quebec. In 1843, Hamel travelled to Europe (London, Naples, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Venice, and then north to France and Belgium).In 1846 he returned to Canada to Quebec. Throughout his career he travelled throughout Canada East and Canada West, painting portraits of such notables as Sir John Beverley Robinson, Denis-Benjamin Viger, Sir Allan MacNab, Louis-Joseph Papineau, John Sandfield Macdonald, and Sir Étienne Taché. He worked quickly, often completing a portrait in a single day.
Hamel also painted religious pictures for various commissions, and a series of "imaginative" or "semi-imaginative" portraits of Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, Jean Talon, Montcalm, and General James Murray. The image of Cartier even appeared on a banknote.It is estimated that Hamel painted more than 2000 portraits during his lifetime. In 1848, he painted portraits of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine. In 1850-1, he painted Egerton Ryerson. In 1853, he painted 'Madame Renaud and Her Daughters Wilhemine and Emma'. His painting 'L'Abbé Edouard Faucher', painted in 1855, now hangs at Eglise de Saint-Laurent, Lotbiniere. His painting of Sir Allan MacNab, painted in 1853, hangs in the House of Commons of Canada.
In 1857, at age of 40, he married Mathilde-Georgiana Faribault, daughter of George-Barthélemy Faribault, a pioneer librarian. He died in Quebec City, in December 1870.
|Robert Baldwin||Théophile Hamel||1848||Oil on canvas|
|Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine||Théophile Hamel||1848||Oil on canvas|
|Egerton Ryerson||Théophile Hamel||1850-1||Oil on canvas|
|'Madame Renaud and Her Daughters Wilhemine and Emma'||Théophile Hamel||1853||Oil on canvas|
|'L'Abbé Edouard Faucher'||Théophile Hamel||1855||Oil on canvas|
|Jean-Antoine Panet||Copy by Théophile Hamel||1856||Oil on canvas|
|David William Smith||Théophile Hamel||1859||Oil on canvas|
|Alexander Macdonell||Copy by Théophile Hamel||1854||Oil on canvas|
|Levius Peters Sherwood||Copy by Théophile Hamel||1855||Oil on canvas|
|John Willson||Théophile Hamel||1855||Oil on canvas|
|Marshall Spring Bidwell||Théophile Hamel||1854||Oil on canvas|
|Archibald McLean||Théophile Hamel||1854||Oil on canvas|
|Sir Allan Napier MacNab||Théophile Hamel||1853||Oil on canvas|
|Henry Ruttan||Théophile Hamel||1856||Oil on canvas|
|Austin Cuvillier||Copy by Théophile Hamel||1856||Oil on canvas|
|Augustin-Norbert Morin||Théophile Hamel||1854||Oil on canvas|
|John Sandfield Macdonald||Théophile Hamel||1854||Oil on canvas|
|Louis-Victor Sicotte||Théophile Hamel||1855||Oil on canvas|
|Sir Allan MacNab||Théophile Hamel||1862||Oil on canvas|
|Joseph-Édouard Turcotte||Théophile Hamel||1865||Oil on canvas|
|Major General James Wolfe||Copy by Théophile Hamel||circa 1865||Oil on canvas|
|Louis-Joseph de Montcalm||Copy by Théophile Hamel||circa 1865||Oil on canvas|
|George Prevost||Copy by Théophile Hamel after Robert Field (circa 1808)||1864||Oil on canvas|
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