WILLIAM KURELEK, R.C.A.
THE HURONIA PAINTINGS


all gouache on card
each approximately 9 ins x 12 ins; 22.9 cms x 30.5 cms


Provenance:
Private Collection, Midland

This lot consists of twenty-one works:
rECOLLET MISSIONARY IN NORTH AMERICA; FATHER BRÉBEUF SETTING OUT FROM THREE RIVERS ON MISSION TO HURONIA; FATHER BRÉBEUF SUFFERS FROM WATER GLARE; HURON GUIDES MANEUVERING THE RAPIDS; FATHER BRÉBEUF AND GUIDES TURNING IN DURING THE VOYAGE; MAP SHOWING THREE RIVERS TO HURONIA ROUTE; MAP OF THE LOWER GREAT LAKES MISSION AREA; FATHER BRÉBEUF BAPTIZES A DYING MAN; AT HEIGHT OF HURONIA MISSION, THOUSANDS CAME INTO THE CHURCH; IROQUOIS AMBUSH FATHER JOGUES’ PARTY; FATHER JOGUES AND RENÉ GOUPIL GIVE THEMSELVES UP TO BE WITH THE CAPTIVE HURONS; RENÉ GOUPIL IS MARTYRED; FATHER JOGUES IS MARTYRED; JEAN DE LA LANDE IS MARTYRED; MAP SHOWING IROQUOIS ADVANCE IN THE HURON MISSIONS; FATHER BRÉBEUF AND LALEMANT PREPARE THE MISSION FORT FOR THE IROQUOIS ATTACK; THE GIVE LAS RITES TO DEAD AND DYING DEFENDERS; AFTER HURON DISPERSAL, JESUITS PUSH WEST AND NORTH; STORIES OF BLACKROBE COURAGE TRAVELS AHEAD OF THEM; EVEN THE PLAINS INDIANS WELCOME THE JESUITS; AND IN THE END EVEN THE DREAD IROQUOIS LET THEM INTO THEIR TOWNS

Jesuit missionaries arrived in Canada in the early 1600s and took a very different approach to their work than the
Recollets who preceded them. Historians note specifically that the Jesuits lived among the First Nations People, and learnt their language and customs rather than trying to Europeanize them as the Recollets had tried to do.

While the relationship was not always a sympathetic one, the Huron were prepared to tolerate the presence of the Jesuits because they wanted to continue their military alliance with the French. However, pressure to convert to the Catholic faith drove a wedge in the community which broke into two camps: those who converted and those who did not.

Works such as this suite resonate in today’s geopolitical struggles stained as they are with internecine battles whose purpose is the total extinction of ethnic groups and the consequent mass displacement of peoples.

Ste Marie Among the Hurons, the setting for many of the Kurelek drawings shown here, was built as a base for the Jesuit missionaries. While it was destroyed during the Iroquois attacks ca. 1648, a replica of what once stood there is now a popular tourist destination in Midland Ontario.


Estimate: $80,000–120,000

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