Robert Harris 1849 - 1919
- Robert Harris
- Portrait of Gilbert John, 4th Earl of Minto, Eighth Governor General of Canada
- signed lower left
- oil on canvas
- 142 by 91.5 cm.
- 56 by 36¼ in.
By descent in the family
Private Collection, U.K.
Robert Harris, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1973, and other venues in Canada, 1 July, 1973 - 30 April, 1974, no. 140
Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound (1845-1914), was the fourth Earl of Minto and a British nobleman and politician who served as Governor General of Canada, and later as Viceroy and Governor General of India. Prior to coming to Canada, he had a distinguished military career serving in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877, the Afghan campaign of 1879 and the Egyptian campaign of 1882. Before he was appointed Governor General in Canada, he was chief of staff in the North-West Rebellion of 1855.
His term of office as Governor General was from 1898 until 1904, and partly coincided with the administration of Sir Wilfred Laurier, a period of strong nationalism, economic growth and mass immigration from Europe. He was cognizant of the fact that Canada's future and progress depended on the cultivation of patriotism and unity.
Robert Harris painted Lord Minto in 1904 after his famous painting The Fathers of Confederation led him to be the foremost artist of notables of the day. Minto appears in this fine portrait in the hunting dress of the Montreal Hunt Club which commissioned this work from Harris.
Prior to relining, an inscription on the reverse read His Excellency Lord Minto, Governor General of Canada, Painted from sittings in Ottawa in 1904 by Robert Harris C.M.G., P.R.C.A.