The Flute-player, 1867
oil on canvas
108.2 x 85.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17605)
In 1851 Antoine Plamondon left Quebec City to settle permanently on a property he owned in Neuville, where he had built a house that included a large studio. The move gave fresh impetus to his career, and it was in Neuville that he turned to the theme of the flute player, new to Canadian art. This painting represents the culmination of his explorations. The artist has omitted the landscape that appears in earlier versions to focus attention on the informally posed musician, whose beautifully rendered hands and face are brought out by carefully calculated lighting effects. Several musical instruments can be seen at the crest of the magnificent carved and gilded frame, which is original.