Sir John A.'s Portrait in Kingston's City Hall

1863
Sir John A. Macdonald portrait by William Sawyer. Photo: Chris Miner. Source: City of Kingston.Pinterest
Sir John A. Macdonald portrait by William Sawyer. Photo: Chris Miner. Source: City of Kingston.

Painted by well-known photographer and portrait artist William Sawyer in 1863 (four years prior to Confederation), the full length portrait potrays the yet-to-be-knighted John A. in a formal pose, typical of the time. The portrait was presented to John A. by admiring friends and is believed to be the only full length (or 'Bishop') portrait of John A in existence. The portrait won first prize in the 1863 'Provincial Exhibitions of Upper Canada.' It was likely painted from a photo or other portrait as was often Sawyer's method. The portrait has hung in Kingston City Hall's Memorial Hall since at least 1921, the same room where Sir John A. laid in state prior to his funeral. The portrait has undergone serious restoration three times: 1926, 1954 and 2014.