ArtworksJohn LittleRichmond Street Vers Grand Trunk, Pointe St. Charles, Montreal, 19771928 -CAD 11,000
Inscriptionssigned 'JOHN / LITTLE' (recto, lower right); inscribed, 'RICHMOND STREET vers GRAND TRUNK / POINTE ST. CHARLES MONTREAL' (verso, top horizontal stretcher); signed and dated, 'JOHN / LITTLE '77'.Richmond Street at Grand Trunk has undergone any number of the changes that the neighbourhood incurred throughout since Little captured it almost 45 years ago. “Richmond” Street suffered more than the neighbours. It disappeared! Actually, the name was changed, a victim not of demolition like so much of the area but one of technology. Technology of the post office was apparently unable to distinguish between postal addresses north and south of the canal. So, the solution, instead of, say, like Sherbrooke Street having the same numerical addresses but say, 1448 Sherbrooke Street West and another 1448 but this one Sherbrooke Street East, Richmond Street near Grand Trunk where our painting was composed became Rue de la Sucrerie.
Richmond Street and the neighbourhood of Pointe St. Charles is an integral part of the Montreal “family album” John Little set out to preserve in his painting before it disappeared or was changed, be it by gentrification or conceivably demolition. The social history of “The Pointe” is well and extensively described in any number of learned books, papers and websites. This painting shows that Little the artist was not one to be inspired to paint pleasing pictures. If the viewer found the content of his paintings visually enjoyable, both he and his dealers were delighted. That however was not his goal.6of 23