Paul Kane

Big Snake, Chief of the Blackfoot Indians, Recounting his War Exploits to Five Subordinate Chiefs

c. 1851-1856
In 1846, inspired by a display of works by the American artist George Catlin, Kane undertook a lengthy journey aimed at representing the Indigenous peoples of British North America in a series of sketches and drawings. He later worked up many of these into paintings of inestimable historical and ethnological value. Here, he adopts the "conversation piece" formula to evoke a gathering of chiefs, assigning Big Snake a authoritative position at the centre. The traditional garments and accessories are portrayed in painstaking detail.
Artist
Title
Big Snake, Chief of the Blackfoot Indians, Recounting his War Exploits to Five Subordinate Chiefs
Date
c. 1851-1856
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
64 x 76.4 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Transfer from the Parliament of Canada, 1888
Accession number
22