Decline of Traditional Realistic Composite Scenes

Few of the traditional realistic composite scenes were made over the next twenty years in the Notman studios. The last two of any note, made in 1914 and 1915, were in a more spare and poster-like style and attributed to C. W. Dennis. The earlier of the two is a moonlit winter scene showing the Montreal Snow Shoe Club. The second, in the Notman Photographic Archives, is entitled "Les Commissaires d'Écoles de la ville de Maisonneuve. 1914."

An interesting composite of 1901, which may represent a transitional phase, combines both realistic and medallion styles. In the centre of the composite is a small print, itself a composite, composed of the professors of the Montreal campus of the Université Laval grouped around a table as if in a meeting. The print is surrounded by a mass of medallion portraits of the graduating students. This technique was occasionally used earlier, as in the City Council composites of 1885 and 1888 and the Bicycle Club of 1885.

Stanley G. Triggs

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