"Canoes of the Savage Isles"
"Canoes of the Savage Isles"

GEORGE FRANCIS LYON, 1821

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"Canoes of the Savage Isles"
George Francis Lyon, 1821
LYON, George Francis (1796-1832). "Canoes of the Savage Isles." Hudson's Straights, 21 July 1821.

The original watercolor illustration for a plate in William Parry's Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a North-west Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, printed in 1824. George Francis Lyons commanded the HMS Hecla under Parry in the Arctic. This watercolor documents his first meeting with the Inuit, whom he depicted with sympathy and interest in his works. During his time on the ice, Lyons would even receive a traditional tattoo from an Inuit woman.This scene is described in the book as follows: "In the afternoon a loud shouting was heard, and we knew that the Esquimaux were coming off to us, although we could not see them amongst the loose ice near the shore. A number of people were at length observed paddling along a lane of water which led to the Fury ... we soon had a large assemblage of canoes along our side of the floe, and a most noisy and merry barter instantly took place." Lyon's original pencil and charcoal drawings from this expedition are at the Yale Center for British Art. See America Pictured to the Life 44.

177 x 230mm, watercolor illustration (window mounted and matted). Custom chemise and slipcase.

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