The English Pug and the French Poodle, also known as The two Snobs, is an outdoor 2013 art installation with two bronze sculptures by Marc Andre J. Fortier, installed at 500 Place D’Armes in Montreal, in Quebec, Canada.
The English Pug and the French Poodle is a privately owned monumental sculpture made by Montreal-born Canadian artist, Marc Andre Jacques Fortier. In the heart of Old-Montreal, Quebec, the diptych evokes, with humour, the cultural discords that used to prevail between the French and English Canadians. Inspired by the historical site of the building, the novel Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan and the parody of the Commedia dell’arte, the artist decided to express in his own way, this historical fact. For this, Fortier’s intentionally divided the piece in two clear segments to accentuate the distance over the two parties. Facing away from each other on opposite sides of the building and wearing a snobby theatrical nose mask, both characters stand on their ground and face away from each other on opposite sides of the building.
On the South side corner of the tower, an Englishman, represented as a thin, elegant, pretentious man, wearing a grid pattern suit with a bow tie, firmly presses against his chest an English Pug and stares with condescension at the Notre-Dame Basilica, symbol of the religious influence on the French Canadians. On the north side corner of the same tower, a Frenchwoman, represented as a small, elegant, snobbish lady, wearing a Coco Chanel suit, rubber zippered high heel shoe covers and an imitation beret, firmly holds against her chest a French Poodle and stares with discontent at the head office of the Bank of Montreal, symbol of English-Canadian financial power. Both purebred dogs are attracted to each other but are held tightly by their masters, keeping them far apart.(Art Public Montreal)
A bronze plate anchored beside each character states the storyline in both languages:
«THE ENGLISH PUG AND THE FRENCH POODLE»
A dashing looking English man, holding his pug, gives a superior stare at Notre-Dame Basilica, symbol of the religious influence on French Canadians.
210 feet away to the northern corner of the edifice, a woman in Chanel style suit, poodle against her, shoots an offended look to the Bank of Montreal’s head office, symbol of English power.
With their masters oblivious to each other, the two dogs on the alert already sniffed out the opportunity to unite.
The inspiration for this work was from the Commedia dell’arte and Two Solitudes from novelist
Hugh MacLennan, these two snobs set up an ironically touching scene of the cultural distance between English and French Canadians.
Marc A. J. Fortier, Artist