Louis Dulongpré

Louis Dulongpré. Painter, teacher of music and dancing, stage manager, topographer, b probably in Paris, 16 Apr 1759, d St-Hyacinthe, Lower Canada (Quebec), 26 Apr 1843. He came to North America on a French troopship during the American War of Independence.

Dulongpré, Louis

Louis Dulongpré. Painter, teacher of music and dancing, stage manager, topographer, b probably in Paris, 16 Apr 1759, d St-Hyacinthe, Lower Canada (Quebec), 26 Apr 1843. He came to North America on a French troopship during the American War of Independence. Later, in Albany, he was persuaded by some Canadians to move to Montreal, where he could live in a French society. He went there in 1785 and two years later opened a dancing school and also taught 'La Musique, ainsi qu'à jouer de plusieurs instruments' (Montreal Gazette, 18 Oct 1787). He was skilled as a string, woodwind and keyboard player. In 1791 he proposed to open a school for girls in which music was to be one of the subjects taught (ibid, 23 Feb 1791). Probably the project came to naught, for in November 1791 Dulongpré once more advertised a music and dancing school. In November 1789 he had been appointed the manager of the Théâtre de Société which produced the premiere of Quesnel'sColas et Colinette the following January. This position included setting up the stage, hiring musicians, advertising, and painting the scenery. Indeed, it was as a painter that Dulongpré became best known. He developed his craft during a study period in Baltimore 1793-4. He is reputed to have painted over 3000 portraits (including one of Joseph Quesnel) and pictures for churches, and worked as a topographer. Samples of his art are in several Canadian museums, but no specific evidence of his musicianship survives. He was '[un] homme d'ancien Régime, ''grand, bien fait, d'une belle figure et d'excellentes manières''' (Gérard Morisset, Coup d'oeil sur les arts en Nouvelle-France, Quebec 1941; Morisset does not state whom he quotes). In 1832 the Dulongpré family moved to St-Hyacinthe. The artist was one of the first persons known to have attempted to make a living as a music teacher in Canada. A street in Montreal was given his name in 1974.


Further Reading

  • 'Le peintre Louis Dulongpré,' BRH, vol 8, Apr 1902

    Kallmann, H., 'From the archives: the Montreal Gazette on music from 1786 to 1797,' CMJ, vol 6, Spring 1962

    Massicotte, E.-Z. 'Un théâtre à Montréal en 1789,' BRH, vol 23, Jun 1917

    Derome, Robert, et al. Dulongpré, De plus près/A closer look (Montreal) 1988)

    Amtmann Musique au Québec

    DCB, vol 7