Thursday, August 25, 2011


So I decided that I was due for a little art history discussion. I've been really thinking this past week about the use of Propaganda in early Canadian art. You might say "what do you mean"? Well, let me 'splain! No, there is too much. Let me sum up! (oups got on a roll there) Anywho we will start with a question... What was the purpose of early Canadian Art?

A View of Fort La Galette, Indian Castle, and Taking a French Ship of War on the River St. Lawrence, by Four Boats of One Gun Each of the Royal Artillery Commanded by Captain Streachy Thomas Davies 1760
Purpose? No, the answer is not for people to hang pretty pictures on their wall. Think harder!

Okay, So early Canada! Heck this can translate to most early North America. We have a European Government that has decided to Colonize the North Americas. They are sending Everyone that they can spare, which means mostly people they don't want, over seas to set up towns and start building the lands. The problem is that the people they don't want are mostly untrained, unskilled individuals from the poorer sectors of Europe. So a plan is needed. They need to draw people to volunteer to go to Canada and build their homes there. They need people who once there may not be able to afford, or are unable to return too quickly. (It's hard to colonize if the people can return on the next boat)

George Heriot "Lake St. Charles near Quebec" 1801
How would you, now in 2011, draw people to an area to live or colonize?? Well you'd start up an add campaign and use positive media (or propaganda) to draw people to your attraction, location or town.

"River Landscape 1" John Elliot Woolford, 1821
Well, the 17 and 1800's weren't much different. In order to draw up media attention and get people with skills (and possibly money) to move to the North American Colonies the British and European Governments sent over artist, new and up coming, to North America to create beautiful images. These images would then be sent back to Europe and be displayed to the public. They would say "See how pretty it is?", "Look how happy people are!", and "Anyone can have their own land!".

Cornelius Krieghoff "Winter Scene with Horse and Sleigh" 1855
They never showed that Snow is Cold and that Food was hard to make. They did, however, succeed in luring many of our ancestors who were up for a challenge or had nothing in Europe.

How would you draw people to Canada now?? What kind of images would you show?? Would you show the images similar to those on the Canada Travel site?? Check out the Brochures there, would your pictures have all the smiling faces and activities??

A Pic I took on the coast in PEI!
This is a pic I took while in PEI on vacation a few years ago. I would love to see what you would create! If you would paint your own picture or use a photo like the Canadian Gov't brochures use??

Until next time!
Keep Creating!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for commenting on my blog, I'm visiting back! I am glad to have found your blog, I'm trying to be more artistic but it doesn't come naturally for me!