In October 1944 Tinning sketched a “Fascist Statue” in Santarcangelo di Romagna. In fact, he sketched the Monumento ai Caduti (War Memorial) in the Piazza Ganganelli (modern photo at right) . Created and cast in bronze by Italian sculptor Bernardino Boifava between 1925 and 1928 this memorial depicts a dead soldier lying on a shield carried by two grieving women. Designed as a tribute to Italian soldiers who died fighting (with the Allies) in World War I this statue had become in World War II a symbol of Mussolini’s regime.
San Arcangelo, 1st Canadian Division 18 Oct 44; watercolour, pencil on grey paper; 37.8×27.6 cm; LAC 1990-143-80
Fascist Statue, 18 Oct 44; watercolour, pencil on grey paper; 27.8×37.9 cm; LAC #1990-143-73
From Tinning’s diary: “31 Oct 44 The monument caused some consternation among other artists. I had only looked at it as a good subject (draped in the Italian flag).”
On the lower left of “Montreal 1940” Tinning notes the location as: “Back of Ben’s Delicatessen“. This Montreal landmark restaurant occupied the corner of Mansfield Street and Burnside Street in 1940. [It moved to the corner of Metcalfe and Burnside in 1949.] On the verso is an untitled painting believed to be the farmhouse of Tinning’s cousin Cyrus L. Merriam in Brattleboro, Vermont with whom he visited in 1938 during his training at the Eliot O’Hara School of Watercolor in Goose Rocks Beach, Maine.
Montreal Scene 1940; watercolour on paper; 38 x 47.5 cm
Untitled Farmhouse (likely Brattleboro, Vermont) undated and unsigned watercolour on paper; 38×47.5 cm (verso of “Montreal 1940”)
In 1941 Tinning moved into an apartment at 1536 Summerhill Avenue near the corner of Côte-des-Neiges Road in Montreal. Below is the Victorian mansion on the corner of his street – later demolished to become the site of the Regency Apartments according to notes made by the artist on a matte for this watercolour. On the verso is a 1941 floral.
House at the corner of Cote-des-Neiges and Summerhill Avenue, Montreal 1941; watercolour on paper; 54X39 cm
Flowers in a Square Vase 1941; watercolour on paper; 39×54 cm
Peel Street 1940; watercolour on Hi-Art Board; 50×37 cm
This 1940 view of Peel Street
in central Montreal is hard to place. One possible perspective is looking west along the south side of Sherbrooke Street West with the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the left background. Another possible perspective is looking east along Burnside Avenue with apartment towers in the background. Regardless of perspective, this winter cityscape captures the essence of Tinning’s newly adopted urban home.
Inaugurated in 1847, Bonsecours Market is an iconic building situated in the heart of Old Montreal near the harbour and close the city’s main east-west thoroughfare – Notre Dame Street. Having served for one year as the Parliament House of a United Canada and as Montreal’s City Hall for twenty five years the building represents one of the most important historical sites in the country. In the 21st Century it has been repurposed to house shops and boutiques to become a major tourist magnet in this part of Montreal. Tinning painted this scene in 1939 when Bonsecours was the chief public market for fresh produce and meat brought in daily by farmers from the surrounding countryside.
Bonsecours Market 1939; watercolour on paper; 56×39 cm
Access to Bonsecours became problematic as the city expanded from the narrow, harbour streets around the Market. Gosford Street tunnel built in 1931 under Notre Dame Street allowed easier access to Bonsecours and went under the turreted east wing of the Château Ramezay – as seen in the painting below. [The tunnel was closed over in 1998]. The mansard roof of Montreal City Hall is seen in the background.
Chateau Ramezay and Gosford Tunnel undated; w-c on paper; 39×56 cm (verso of Bonsecours)