|Long Island; ca. 1840s
John Burrows, watercolour over pencil
(Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1979-12-14)
|This painting shows flight of three locks at Long Island and the stone arch dam. The bridge and weir across the channel in Nichols Island was built in 1836, replacing the original weir at the entrance to the channel that was swept away by flood waters. The lockmaster’s house overlooks the locks, and the buildings on the left belong to the village of Long Island.
About this Painting: This painting is part of a series of 23 watercolours showing all the lockstations. There are at least 4 different copies of each painting (done before the days of copiers, each one had to be painted individually). These unsigned watercolours are credited to either John Burrows or to William T. Clegg. Burrows was an Overseer of Works of the Rideau Canal from 1827 to 1848. Clegg was the Paymaster for the Rideau Canal (Clerk of Cheque) from 1827 to 1845. It is speculated that this series of watercolours may have been prepared to document the Rideau Canal for presentation to visiting officials. I think it most likely that John Burrows was the main artist, he was a surveyor and trained in art. But Clegg may have annotated the paintings, and perhaps had a hand in making copies of the originals. The paintings are undated, but features in some of the paintings (such as lockmaster houses) suggest the early 1840s.
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