web Robert DEROME
Les sources iconographiques
des portraits fictifs du père jésuite Jacques Marquette


1930 Emory Pius Seidel
from a sketch by Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy

Photo : source.

Dessiné par Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy, ce monument a été sculpté par Emory Pius Seidel et inauguré en 1930.

Le modèle iconographique, qui représente un Marquette jeune et debout, stylistiquement un peu raide, a été emprunté à 1895 MacNeil qui, à son tour, s'était inspiré de 1869 Lamprecht, mais en lui enlevant la barbe.

Marquette tend le bras et la main, en signe d'amitié, à un Amérindien qui lui répond également par un geste du bras. « Un premier contact moderne, sans esprit missionnaire, comme la rencontre de deux mondes [collaboration de Christian Carette]. »

Photo : source.

On sent encore des influences plus anciennes de l'art nouveau dans la végétation stylisée, dépouillée de son feuillage, qui représente le campement d'hiver de Marquette. On se demande si l'artiste n'a pas oublié d'habiller cet autochtone avec les vêtements appropriés ? Ce qui aurait pu camoufler son étude anatomique un peu gauche ! À moins qu'il ait copié, tel quel, un modèle imposé ? Seidel utilise donc un style vieillot si on le compare aux artistes qui, quelques années auparavant dans leurs bas-reliefs, travaillaient avec le style art déco alors à la mode : 1925 Williams et 1928 Torrey. Par contre, les motifs décoratifs sculptés dans la pierre (photo ci-dessous) sont tout à fait dans l'air du temps.

Ce monument stèle est localisé S. Damen Ave. Chicago IL, près de la South Chicago River, sur le trottoir d'une rue à grande circulation suburbaine, dans une zone industielle et portuaire ingrate, propice à la négligence et aux déprédations, tel qu'illustré par les photos ci-dessus et ci-dessous.

Photo : source.

Photo : source.

Photo : source.

Photo : source.

John P. Nauheimer, Bridgetender cabin and Marquette monument, 1930, photographie (détail), Musée de la civilisation PH1987-0897. Source: Artefacts Canada.

John P. Nauheimer, Le monument Marquette à Chicago, 1930, photographie (détail), 21,5 x 16,5 cm, Musée de la civilisation PH1987-0898. Source: Artefacts Canada.

À l'origine, le monument était situé près d'un petit pont ouvrant,
aujourd'hui remplacé par une large voie élevée à circulation rapide
enjambeant la Chigaco River (voir Google Maps).

 

« In October, 1930, an imposing monument of granite and stone was dedicated to commemorate Father Marquette's historic wintering on the site of Chicago. The monument marks one of the most sacred acres of the earth, where a frail missionary in fulfilling a pledge given to the Indians, labored to conquer a wilderness and by his writings, to build a nation. The memorial stands on the northern approach of the magnificent new bridge spanning the west fork of the south branch of the Chicago river at Damen Avenue. A bronze tablet affixed to it portrays the first scene of Chicago's history. Father Marquette greeting the Indians. Another bronze tablet reads: JAMES MARQUETTE, FRENCH PRIEST, OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS, ON HIS MISSION TO THE ILLINOIS INDIANS SPENT THE WINTER HERE OF 1674-1675. HIS JOURNAL BROUGHT FIRST TO THE WORLD'S ATTENTION THE ADVANTAGES OF CLIMATE, SOIL AND TRANSPORTATION IN THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND THE GREAT LAKES BASIN. "THIS MONUMENT ERECTED BY THE CITY OF CHICAGO, WM. HALE THOMPSON, MAYOR: MICHAEL J. FAHERTY, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS." » Arth 1931.04 (pdf p. 298).

« Marquette - 1930 · bas-relief sculpted monument with bronze plaque on the E side of Damen Avenue [once called Robey Street] at the level of 27 S Street, showing Father Marquette with an Indian, inscribed: "James Marquette, French priest of the Society of Jesus, on his mission to the Illinois Indians, spent here the winter of 1674-1675. His journal first brought to the world's attention the advantages of soil, climate and transportation facilities in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes basin. – Erected by the City of Chicago – William Hale Thompson, Mayor – Michael J. Faherty, Pres. Board of Local Improvements – Anno Domini MCMXXX." Sculptor: E.P. Seidel, from a sketch by Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy. » Source.

« Marks the location where Father Jacques Marquette (named "James Marquette" on this monument) spent the winter of 1674-75. It also marks the eastern end of the Chicago Portage. » Source.

« The Marquette monument sits forlorn and forgotten. By Peter Bella, July 7, 2014 at 8:23 pm. The monument to Father Jacques Marquette sits on a well traveled stretch of Damen Avenue, just north of the South Branch of the Chicago River. It is located near the site where Marquette camped during the winter in 1674. Cars pass by this monument daily. There is very little pedestrian traffic crossing the river. It is one of those forgotten and ignored historical sites in Chicago. The limestone monument sits eroding on a busy stretch ignored by most. The bronze has green patina. The monument could use some beautification. Maybe even lighting and a sign to remind people it is there. If Chicago ever declared a patron saint, it would be Jacques Marquette, the Jesuit missionary who explored the area and with Louis Joliet, realized the geographic and hydrographic significance. Marquette and Joliet discovered the geographic significance of the area while traveling back to Canada. They realized that the Illinois, Des Plaines, and what is now the Chicago River all flowing into each other and Lake Michigan would provide a transportation route to the Mississippi and the sea. It would enable trade and commerce to move faster. The vast open prairie would provide farmland, enhancing trade and settlements for the Glory of France. They also knew that if a canal was dug through the old portage at the Desplaines River, transportation would be faster. They were 225 years ahead of their time. Both men were avid cartographers and journalists, in the original sense of the word. They kept journals. Joliet's journal was lost in a storm. Marquette's journals survived. They paved the way for France to settle and build trading posts throughout the Midwest. History interfered and eventually America took over the lands. Chicago became a major city because of its geographical location, as recorded by Jacques Marquette and reported by Louis Joliet. Later architects and engineers used their records to layout the watershed transportation system. They even reworked nature when they reversed the flow of the Chicago river. Marquette's name can be found throughout Chicago. Marquette Park and Marquette Road. The Marquette Building in the loop has a four panel frieze over the entrance depicting Marquette's journey. Chicago's geography, as reported by Marquette and others, situated it to become a transportation hub. From lake and rivers, eventually to railroad, highways and air, Chicago became the main center for transportation, commerce and industry. Damen avenue was originally Fond du Lac road. It later became Robey Street. In 1927, the name was changed to Damen Avenue. The monument and bridge spanning the river were dedicated in 1930. It is ironic. The Marquette monument stands on a stretch of road named after another Jesuit priest, Arnold Damen. Father Damen established Holy Family Parish and St. Ignatius Academy, part of which would evolve into Loyola University. » Source.

« John R. Schmidt, "Are those swastikas? Deconstructing a Chicago monument", Chicago History Today, July 26, 2012. The monument at 2701 South Damen Avenue honors Father Jacques Marquette, the first European to reside in Chicago. I’ve talked about Marquette in an earlier post. Now let’s look at what the plaque on the monument tells us about a different time — the time in which the monument itself was built. That would be the year 1930. On the plaque, this date is rendered at the bottom left as “Anno Domini MCMXXX.” Of course, using Roman numerals on our public structures was once common. Perhaps the builders thought the numerals had some magic power, guaranteeing that their own efforts would last as long as the Colosseum or the Arch of Constantine. Just above the date are the names of two people. Here we have a politician — the mayor — and one of his appointees, the head of the commission that actually built the monument. Nothing unusual about that. But look at the first line, the name of the man being honored. “James Marquette.” For some reason, they’ve Anglicized the good father's personal name. If you’re going to translate "Jacques" into our local language, why bother with the Roman numerals further down the plaque? The text of the plaque tells us of Marquette’s historic importance, of how his journals touted our region. I can appreciate the advantages of our soil and transportation facilities. Yet I don’t think our climate is a major selling point. Oh, and there’s one more thing that always seems to catch the viewer’s eye. The swastikas. No, Marquette wasn’t a Nazi, nor was Mayor Thompson, nor Mr. Faherty. The swastika was an ancient Aryan symbol of good luck that Hitler appropriated. Until the Nazis made them notorious, you’d see swastikas in many innocent places. When I was growing up on the Northwest Side, a certain two-flat on Central Avenue had a swastika prominently displayed in the brickwork. The building dated from 1920, when Hitler was still an unknown thug. But by 1974, the bad vibes evidently became too much, and the owner tore it down. Back on Damen Avenue, I suppose the city could do something about those to little swastikas on the Marquette plaque. What do you think? » Source.

 

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