Paul Kane's Great Nor-WestBook - 1995
In this beautifully designed and richly illustrated book, DianeEaton and Sheila Urbanek re-create Paul Kane's heroic journeyacross Canada and bring to life the people, places, and events heexperienced.
Determined to document the lives and customs of the Indians of theNorthwest, Paul Kane set out in 1845 to cross the continent 'withno companions but my portfolio and a box of paints, my gun and a stockof ammunition.'
Travelling via the Hudson's Bay Company fur brigade routes, hemade his way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific coast and back again.When he returned to Toronto in the fall of 1848, he brought back some500 field sketches as well as a remarkable collection of Indian'curiosities,' which he used as raw material for one hundredoil paintings depicting scenes of Indian life.
While the carefully executed oil paintings are deliberatelyromanticized images of the west, the original field sketches conveyKane's immediate impressions and offer tantalizing glimpses of whathe describes as the 'wild scenes amongst which I strayed almostalone.' A fascinating complement to the sketches is contained in asmall diary Kane kept while on his journey -- brief and plainspoken,these entries were jotted down in his own idiosyncratic spelling andpunctuation.
Illustrated with a wide selection of the field sketches aswell as his better-known oil paintings, this book reintroduces thisremarkable artist to a modern audience.