Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada is one of Canada’s premier art galleries with a large, varied collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs. Although its focus is on Canadian art, it holds works by many noted American and European artists.

In 2005, a sculpture of a giant spider, Louise Bourgeois’s Maman, was installed in the plaza in front of the Gallery.

Highlights of the National Gallery of Canada

Tour of the National Gallery of Canada

  • “The Toll Gate” by Cornelius Krieghoff
    • “The Toll Gate” by Cornelius Krieghoff portrays a Canadia winter landscape of the mid-1850s. Krieghoff was skillful in painting the splendors of the Canadian scenes as well as capturing the hardship of life for the people living at the edge of Canada’s new frontiers.

      Krieghoff painted in several variants of the scene in this painting, where frontier people would “Running the Toll.” At the back of the sled is a passenger thumbing his nose at the toll collector.

  • “A North View of Fort Frederick” by Thomas Davies
    • “A North View of Fort Frederick” by Thomas Davies has the full title of “A North View of Fort Frederick Built by Order of the Honourable Colonel Robert Monckton, on the Entrance of the St. John’s River in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia”. Most of Thomas Davies’s watercolors had similar long descriptive titles.

      In this watercolor, we can see Fort Frederick, which was a British fort in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. It was built during the St. John River Campaign of the French and Indian War. Establishing Fort Frederick allowed the British to cut off the communications and supplies to the villages on the St. John River. Davies’ style combines the precision of a military artist’s accuracy with the skills of naturalists in capturing the natural environment.

  • “Death of General Wolfe” by Benjamin West
    • “Death of General Wolfe” by Benjamin West depicts the death of British General James Wolfe at the 1759 Battle of Quebec during the French and Indian War. This painting captures a pivotal event in the Seven Years’ War that decided the fate of France’s colonies in North America. General Wolfe commanded the British Army and successfully held the British line against the French and won the battle. Unfortunately, General Wolfe was killed by musket wounds.

      In death, General Wolfe gained fame as a national hero and became an icon of the Seven Years’ War and British dominance in North America. This image was so popular that West made an identical painting of the same scene for George III of the United Kingdom, one year after this painting. In total, four other additional versions of the Death of General Wolfe were also produced by West.

National Gallery of Canada

  • Name:                  National Gallery of Canada
  • City:                      Ottawa
  • Established:         1880
  • Type:                    Art Gallery
  • Location:             380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Tour of Museums in Canada






“Walk a mile in my moccasins to learn where they pinch.”
– Canadian Proverb


Photo Credit: By Tullia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons