Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Historic Paddle Illustration - Robert Petley

Found some paintings by Lieut. Robert Petley (1809-1869) in the Archives & National Gallery of Canada. Petley was a military artist and an officer with the 50th Regiment who spent the majority of his tour of duty in the Maritime provinces, serving at Fredericton in 1831 and with the 71st Regiment in Halifax from 1832 to 1836. He officially documented military sites in Nova Scotia but also produced personal works with an emphasis on Mi'kmaq (Micmac) subjects.

This seems to be echoed in a work of his entitled "Interior of a Wigwam" in which there are two versions of a similar scene. In the foreground of each painting is a slender, elongated canoe paddle resting on baskets. Once again, we see a long, extended grip which seems consistent with the paddles of this region, like the ones found in the New Brunswick Museum.

Interior of a Wigwam c. 1834
watercolour on wove paper
14.7 x 20.7 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 26987)

Paddle Closeup

Interior of a Wigwam
Library and Archives Canada

Paddle Closeup

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