Paul Kane's Great Nor-West by Sheila UrbanekPaul Kane's Great Nor-West by Sheila Urbanek

Paul Kane's Great Nor-West

bySheila Urbanek

Paperback | March 1, 1997

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In this beautifully designed and richly illustrated book, Diane Eaton and Sheila Urbanek re-create Paul Kane’s heroic journey across Canada and bring to life the people, places, and events he experienced.

Determined to document the lives and customs of the Indians of the Northwest, Paul Kane set out in 1845 to cross the continent “with no companions but my portfolio and a box of paints, my gun and a stock of ammunition.”

Travelling via the Hudson’s Bay Company fur brigade routes, he made 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 some 500 field sketches as well as a remarkable collection of Indian “curiosities,” which he used as raw material for one hundred oil paintings depicting scenes of Indian life.

While the carefully executed oil paintings are deliberately romanticized images of the west, the original field sketches convey Kane’s immediate impressions and offer tantalizing glimpses of what he describes as the “wild scenes amongst which I strayed almost alone.” A fascinating complement to the sketches is contained in a small diary Kane kept while on his journey – brief and plainspoken, these entries were jotted down in his own idiosyncratic spelling and punctuation.

Illustrated with a wide selection of the field sketches as well as his better-known oil paintings, this book reintroduces this remarkable artist to a modern audience.

Diane Eaton is a freelance writer living in Vancouver. Sheila Urbanek is an art historian with a long-standing interest in the art and culture of the Pacific Northwest.
Title:Paul Kane's Great Nor-WestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 10 × 9.94 × 0.65 inPublished:March 1, 1997Publisher:Ubc Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774805498

ISBN - 13:9780774805490

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Table of Contents







1 Forward with the Lachine Brigade

2 The Metis Buffalo Hunt

3 Across the Prairies to Fort Edmonton

4 A Winter Crossing of the Rockies

5 Adventuring in the Oregon Country

6 Northwest to Fort Victoria

7 Up the Columbia

8 Over the Rockies and Homeward Bound

Select Bibliography


From Our Editors

Canadian artist Paul Kane was determined to document the native people of the Northwest when he set out in 1845 with art supplies, a gun and ammunition. When he returned to Toronto in 1848 he brought back close to five hundred sketches of native life. While he created over 100 paintings from these sketches, romantic and fashionable for the period, it is the sketches that are objective and authentic. Paul Kane's Nor-West is the story of this journey with sketches and parts of his journal included.

Editorial Reviews

All in all, this handsome and interesting volume does well by Paul Kane, in both pictures and text. - Virginia Byfield - Alberta Report