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"Fishing by Torch Light," Menominee
Paul Kane (1810 Mallow, Ireland–1871 Toronto, Canada)
Oil on canvas
45.7 x 73.6 cm
Area of Origin: Fox River, Wisconsin, United States
The Honourable George William Allan Collection
Gift of Sir Edmund Osler

Description: "The evening previous to our arrival, we saw some Indians spearing salmon; by night, this has always a very picturesque appearance, the strong red glare of the blazing pine knots and roots in the iron frame, or light-jack, at the bow of the canoe throwing the naked figures of the Indians into wild relief upon the dark water and sombre woods. Great numbers of fish are killed in this manner. As the light is intense, and being above the head of the spearsman, it enables him to see the fish distinctly at a great depth, and at the same time it apparently either dazzles or attracts the fish. In my boyish days I have seen as many as a hundred light-jacks gliding about the Bay of Toronto, and have often joined in the sport." (Paul Kane, "Wanderings of an Artist," Kane 1859:30–32)

Exhibit History: Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples (ROM), December 2005-April 2014

Publications: Harper, Russell J. 1971. "Paul Kane's Frontier." Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Kane, Paul. 1859. "Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America." London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts. Lister, Kenneth R. 2010. "Paul Kane /the Artist/: Wilderness to Studio." Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press.

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