Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art

Paul Kane


1810-1871 Paul Kane, born at Mallow, County Cork. Was brought to Canada in 1818 or 1819 by his family. The father, a soldier in Swimcoe's entourage, worked at York (Toronto) as a wine merchant and a carriage- and house-painter. Paul Kane attended grammar school at York (1819-1826) and there had some drawing lessons from Drury. He was apprenticed to Wilson Conger, a cabinet-maker, until 1830; then he painted portraits at Cobourg. In 1836 he left for Detroit and painted his ways to New Orleans; sailed from New Orleans to Marseilles in 1841. Travelled and copied in the museums in France, Italy, and England; also visited North Africa, returning to Toronto in 1845. Made a trip to Lake Huron in 1845. In 1846 he joined a Hudson's Bay Company expedition from Sault Ste Marie and spent two years going from post to post in the West. Returned to Toronto and began a series of canvases of western landscape and Indian life. Went to London in 1858 and arranged to publish his Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North America (1859). He became blind and retired in 1866. Died in Toronto. A collection of his paintings, commissioned by George WIlliam Allan, is now in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. A series of twelve pictures, commissioned in 1851 by the Legislature of Canada and finished in 1856, is now in the National Gallery, Ottawa, except for one which was lost (in the Parliament building fire, 1916)


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