Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hallowed Ground And Scoundrels

Picking up where I left off yesterday, a look up gives us the ceiling of the Memorial Chamber.

This book of remembrance is for those who died during the Korean War.

And this is for those who have died in service, other than the Korean War, since 1945. On the day I was here, names of Canadian dead from the Afghan conflict were displayed.

Here we have one more look at the heart of the room, containing the names of dead from the First World War.

I stepped back outside, pausing to photograph the other flanking wall of the entrance.

And then from the upper arcade I photographed down into Confederation Hall, still showing Christmas trim.

I came downstairs, where the Usual Suspects are mounted on walls between Confederation Hall and the lobby area outside the House of Commons. The portraits of prime ministers, along with other art in the building, will be removed for the duration of the project. This trio includes John Diefenbaker at far left, Pierre Trudeau at centre, and Joe Clark at the right.

Here we have John Turner at left and Kim Campbell at right.

Across from them is Brian Mulroney.

And Jean Chretien.

And today I finish with the portrait of Paul Martin, the last of the former prime ministers to have his portrait hanging here. The predecessor to the current PM has not yet had his official portrait done, perhaps because Stephen Harper worries that his portrait might capture the terrible secret that he's hidden for decades- that he's a vampire, and not one of the sparkly Edward Cullen variety of vampire.


  1. The ceiling is unbelieveable beautiful, such excellent work!
    And I certainly love the lion.

  2. A wonderful bit of fan-vaulting on that ceiling, looks as perfectly proportioned and skilfully assembled as anything from the 16th century. Should be good for another 400 years!

  3. The ceiling and ornate arches are incredibly beautiful. A vampire you say William 😀

  4. I was disappointed when we elected Harper once; I was dismayed and shocked when we did it again.

  5. Everything looks so clean, white, and ornate.


  6. ...and how do you really feel about Stephen Harper?

  7. love all the arches ... so pleasing to the architectural person's eyes ... nice!! ( ;

  8. A painting of a vampire won't have reflection issues.

  9. @Iris: it is an amazing space.

    @Aritha: so do I.

    @John: it was magnificently designed.

    @Grace: I don't think Stevie would like how I talk about him. :)

    @David: every once in awhile I'll pass by a former PM- Clark or Chretien. I will nod hello. I've never seen Harper, and I hope I never will, because I doubt I could restrain myself from using a few coarse words.

    @Joan: I do too.

    @Janis: it does!

    @Tom: well, given a choice between Harper and Trump, for instance, I'd take Harper.

    @Beth: it was beautifully designed.

    @Maywyn: unless it's reflected in a mirror.

  10. It certainly is a marvellous building both architecturally and in terms of content.

  11. Hello William!
    The ceiling and the arches are so beautiful!
    From the portraits I only know Pierre Trudeau!
    I have read about him in a book!
    Have a lovely Thursday!

  12. I love that comment "usual suspects". Maybe Harper can't find anyone will to paint is portrait. Trump will have the same problem. :-)

  13. Thanks for introducing the PM's. The architecture is a bit more outstanding than men...of course. Vampire, eh? I imagine they aren't bothering to de-decorate because everything will be under de-constructing for the renovations soon.

  14. I wonder if Harper will ever have some change to his present dislike by many. He doesn't seem to be doing anything that would change his nasty disposition.

  15. I love it. The usual suspects. I thought Mulroney's words at George Bush's funeral were eloquent and lovely. And speaking of lovely, that building is exquisite.

  16. @Anvilcloud: that it is.

    @Jan: that it is.

    @Dimi: in three cases of these prime ministers, they served brief terms. And Canadian leaders tend to fly under the proverbial radar of most of the rest of the world anyway.

    @Sharon: I like using the term usual suspects for these paintings, and for the most part it's said with a degree of affection. I know I wouldn't want to paint Stephen!

    @Barbara: at some point when he actually gets his portrait done, I imagine for a time it'll be somewhere in the West Block. I'll have to make a point of saying how the artist hid his true demonic form, or something like that. I really don't think he'd appreciate my low regard for him, but in fairness, he's more than earned that low regard.

    @Red: I suspect that there's something in his personality that won't change- he strikes me as the sort of person who's angry at the world for being born.

    @Jeanie: Mulroney's an old friend of the family, and his eulogy was right on point.

  17. Thanks for the last look at this area for a long time!

  18. It is a beautiful building----too bad we MUST have wars so we can make a memorial----love the arches, great shot

  19. Oh my, the ceiling is amazing :)

    All the best Jan

  20. What an incredible and amazing ceiling, very impressive to see.

  21. @Lady Fi: I agree.

    @RedPat: I'm really going to miss it.

    @MB: that is true.

    @Catalyst: I've also referred to him as Sauron the Deceiver before.

    @Jan: it is a stunning ceiling.

    @Bill: that it is.

  22. So much grandeur. We don't build them like this anymore!

  23. Wow such intricate work on the ceiling.

  24. A ceiling that looks like a wedding cake.

  25. I love that ceiling shot, and the shots looking down. All are beautiful.

  26. Memorial Chamber is a great idea.

  27. Beautiful building. Had to laugh at your comment about your previous PM...I don’t know enough about Canada politics to comment, but can only imagine and hope that any portrait of our country’s current treasonous excuse for a President should self explode immediately as it will definitely not deserve wall space alongside any other President .