Untitled (Child), c. 1971
Norval (called Copper Thunderbird) Morrisseau
acrylic on paper, mounted on hardboard
124.3 x 73.3 cm
Gift of Audrey and Gary Kilpatrick, Rainy River, Ontario, 2000
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40533)
Copyright Norval Morrisseau / Gabe Vadas. Courtesy of Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto.
The figure is wearing a hood associated with the Midewiwin, a spiritual, healing, and political society of the Anishnaabe. Morrisseau often stated that his use of colour and his spiritual beliefs were intertwined and some believe his colour combinations have healing properties. Morrisseau spent the first nine years of his life with his shaman grandfather who taught him the Anishinabek customs, legends and the healing ways of his people. Morrisseau often reflects back to the days of childhood, inscribing the backs of paintings with the phrase “childlike simplicity.” This painting and "Untitled (Shaman)" were the first of Morrisseau’s paintings to be acquired by the National Gallery of Canada in 2000.