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Description found in Archives



Place of creation


1 painting : oil on canvas ; 76.1 x 64.0 cm.
Support: 64.000 x 76.100 cm
Platemark: cm
Inventory no.: op0871

Scope and content

This portrait of Sir Robert Laird Borden (1854-1937), Canada's ninth prime minister, was painted by Sir William Orpen (1878-1931) during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Orpen had been commissioned by the British Government to produce a commemorative work of the historic event. As did other delegates, Borden sat for an individual sketch which later served as a model for the Prime Minister's portrait in a large group portrait of conference delegates at the event. The finished group portrait, A Peace Conference at the Quai d'Orsay, now hangs in the Imperial War Museum in London. This unique portrait of Sir Robert Borden was produced during one of the four occasions on which the prime minister sat for Orpen, and reflects the prime minister's fragile state of health, the demands of the previous months putting him at the brink of physical and emotional collapse.
For more information about this portrait see National Archives publications: Facing History (1993), p. 105; Treasures of the National Archives of Canada (1992), P. 105; The Painted Past (1984), pp. 54-57.
Digitization project: Living Memory

Graphic (art)
90: Open
Protective supervision is required durin
g consultation.
Graphic (art)
Copy negative C-011238
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
OP-0871 Item no. assigned by LAC 1
90: Open
Other accession no.
1991-076 X DAP

Terms of use

Credit: Library and Archives Canada / C-11238
Copyright: Expired

Oil Paintings Index, OP0871 90 (Paper)

Additional information

Custodial history
Provenance: Christie, Manson & Woods catalogue note states that this painting was from the property of Sir James Dunn. The painting was acquired from the Christie, Manson & Woods, London auction sale, July 16, 1926 (lot 5). Gooden & Fox (dealers) London, may have acted as agents for the Public Archives at the sale.

Availability of other formats note
Colour transparency available

Associated material note
Besides A Peace Conference at the Quai d'Orsay, other paintings by William Orpen commissioned by the British Government to commemorate the Paris Peace Treaty are in the Imperial War Museum, London: The signing of the peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, and The Unknown Soldier.

Exhibitions note
Exhibition title: Painted Past. Curators: National Archives of Canada, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; 1984.10.02 - 1984.10.31.
Further venue: Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1987.04.03 - 1987.05.07.
Further venue: McCord Museum. Montreal, Quebec, 1987.07.08 - 1988.01.03.
Further venue: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1989.06.01 -1989-07.11.
Exhibition title: Facing History : portraits from the National Archives of Canada. Curators: Lydia Foy, Sylvie Gervais, Peter Robertson, National Archives of Canada, cat. no.: cat. no. 109. Further venue: National Archives, Ottawa, Ontario, 1993.05.27-1993.09.06.
Exhibition title: Treasured Memories.
Curators: Tétrault, Martin and Crawley, Michal.
Curators: National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; 2001.01.22 - 2001.11.12.
Exhibition title: Treasured Memories 6. Curators: Crawley, Michal, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON. 2002.02.18-2002.11.17.
Exhibition Title: Treasured Memories 5. Curator: Michal Anne Crawley, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; 2001.01.22-2001.11.12.

Signatures and inscriptions
Inscribed. Signed. Dated.
Inscription: in brushpoint and brown oil, recto u.l.: ORPEN / PARIS 1919

Subject heading

1. Borden, Robert Laird, Sir, 1854-1937.
2. Prime ministers Canada.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1991-076 DAP
2. 118-080346-9