Mallow-born painter Paul Kane to be honoured in his birthplace

Mallow-born painter Paul Kane to be honoured in his birthplace

A man who left Mallow at a very young age and ended up becoming a famous painter in Canada is to be honoured in his Cork birthplace.

Paul Kane was born in Mallow on September 3 in 1810. He was the fifth child of the eight children of Michael Kane and Frances Loach.

When he was around 10, his family emigrated to Upper Canada and settled in York (now Toronto).

Kane became famous for his oil paintings of the five great indigenous tribes which lived in Canada.

The bulk of Kane's artwork is the more than 700 sketches he made during his two voyages to the west and the more than 100 oil canvases he later elaborated from them in his studio in Toronto.

Mallow-born painter Paul Kane to be honoured in his birthplace

Mallow Field Club, a historical society, has been carrying out research on Kane. The field club is to enter into discussions with Cork County Council to host a commemoration for him, which will include exhibiting some reproductions of his work.

Kane initially trained himself by copying European masters on a "Grand Tour" study trip through Europe.

He undertook two journeys through the Canadian northwest in 1845 and from 1846 to 1848 and from them produced more than 100 oil paintings from his sketches.

The oil paintings he completed in his studio are considered a part of the Canadian heritage, although he often embellished them considerably, departing from the accuracy of his field sketches in favour of more dramatic scenes.

Kane was one of the first, if not the first, tourist to travel across the Canadian west and the Pacific north-west.

Mallow-born painter Paul Kane to be honoured in his birthplace

His work is valued as through his sketches and paintings, and later also his book, the public at large in Upper and Lower Canada for the first time caught a glimpse of the peoples and their lifestyles in this vast and barely known territory.

In 1853, Kane married Harriet Clench (1823–1892) who was also a skilled painter and writer. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. Kane died almost 150 years ago on February 20, 1871.

In 1937 Kane was declared a National Historic Person in Canada and in 1971, the year of the centenary of Kane's death, Canada Post issued a postage stamp entitled 'Paul Kane, painter', designed by William Rueter based on Kane's painting "Indian Encampment on Lake Huron".

In 1978, the City of Toronto purchased the dilapidated Paul Kane House, which Kane and his heirs had lived in. The building was later designated a heritage structure. In 1985, the structure was refurbished and the front yard developed into a small park.

Paul Kane High School in St Albert, Alberta was named in honor of Kane.

Mallow-born painter Paul Kane to be honoured in his birthplace

At a meeting of the Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District Council, Cllr Liam Madden asked council officials to help the field club highlight the life of Kane and provide venues in the town to hang the reproductions of his paintings.

He said that while it is acknowledged by expert historians that Kane was born in Mallow, unfortunately to date local historians haven't been able to pinpoint with any accuracy the building he was born in.

"It would be nice to get more information on that. Hopefully more people will come forward with information," Cllr Madden added.

Municipal district officer, Liz Donovan, said the council "would assist (the field club) in whatever way we can" and said it might be possible to hold an exhibition in the town library and some other venues.

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