Point de rencontre by Jean Paul Riopelle now at Rideau Hall

October 21, 2021

The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General is delighted to announce the installation of Jean Paul Riopelle’s 1963 painting Point de rencontre in the newly reopened Rideau Hall Ballroom.

This impressive artwork is on loan from the Centre national des arts plastiques de Paris until 2024. It was most recently showcased at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as part of the Riopelle exhibition, The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Culture.

At 4.28 x 5.64 metres, this is the largest painting ever produced by Jean Paul Riopelle. It was commissioned by the Government of Canada and inaugurated in February 1964 at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. In 1989, it was presented as a gift to France on the occasion of the bicentenary of the French Revolution and was on display at Paris's Opéra Bastille.

The title of this artwork refers to a Huron word meaning “place of meeting” (point de rencontre in French), which describes the area where Indigenous peoples made their way between lakes Ontario and Huron.

Jean Paul Riopelle, Point de rencontre – Quintette (polyptych), 1963, oil on canvas, 428 x 564 cm (5 panels). Paris, Centre national des arts plastiques. Inv. FNAP 90069 © Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle / SOCAN (2021)

Quick facts:

  • Jean Paul Riopelle was one of the most internationally renowned Canadian painters of his era. He was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada in 1969, was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 1988 and was promoted to Grand Officer in 1994.
  • The 100th anniversary of the birth of Riopelle (2023) will be marked across Canada and around the world with a series of initiatives and partnerships facilitated by the Riopelle Foundation.