BARTHOLDI, Frédéric-Auguste

Colmar, Haut-Rhin 1834 - Paris 1904

Copie after BARTHOLDI by Canadian sculptor George William HILL (1862-1934)

Lion de Belfort

Lion of Belfort

1897 after a 1879 original



Dimensions (HxWxD): 16.53 feet x 7.61 feet x 13.81 feet

Credit Line: Don de / Given by Sun Life Insurance Company

Photo credit: ph. blog

© Artist : public domain


  • 1897, May 24, The statue is inaugurated; it was given by Sun Life Insurance Company


  • (accessed December 6, 2017) (accessed December 6, 2017)


  • Information text on site, accessible on (accessed December 6, 2017):
    The fountain was the gift of the Sun Life Insurance Company, some ten years before it would decide to relocate to Dominion [Dorchester] Square. Inuagurated on May 24, 1897, the fountain commemorates Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. (...) When the Victorian era begun (1837), Montreal was still only a small city clustered around the port. By the time Victoria died (1901), the city had become the financial and business heart of Canada.
    Art Publlic Montréal website (accessed December 6, 2017):
    This pink-granite fountain-monument is composed of a pedestal, with a lion lying on top of it. On the pedestal are engraved escutcheons celebrating events, inventions, and individuals who marked the reign of Queen Victoria: the first world’s fair, the telephone, the electric light bulb, Dickens, Darwin, and so on. A drinking fountain is also imbedded in the pedestal; the current fountain was reconstructed in 2009 on the model of the original fountain.
    The lion symbolizes British strength and protection. This is a copy, at a scale of about 1:10, of the French sculptor August Bartholdi’s Lion de Belfort. The original artwork overlooks the Belfort citadel and measures 22 m in length and 11 m in height. Produced between 1875 and 1880, it is carved from the site’s red sandstone. The Montréal lion was George William Hill’s first public commission. The pedestal was designed by the architect Robert Findlay.