Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall
A Hudson's Bay Company express canoe, rides high in the water as it carries important company officials and dispatches, not freight. The passengers are the artist, who studies a water lily, and her husband, who smokes a pipe, being borne along by a skilled crew of eight voyageurs.
28" x 18"
In the collections of the National Archives Canada, Ottawa (C-2771)
Frances Anne (Beechey) Hopkins (1838-1918) brought the authenticity of experience to her painting. Born in England, the granddaughter of the note portraitist Sir William Beechey, she married Edward Martin Hopkins in 1858. For about a decade Hopkins traveled the age-old canoe routes of Canada, accompanying her husband, who was private secretary to the governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. Although she had little formal art training, Hopkins employed her natural talent in sketching and painting scenes of the North American waters and forests and the voyageurs who traversed them. Travel such as this gave her the authoritative, firsthand knowledge fo the subjects she painted so ably. The Hopkins family returned in 1870 to live permanently in England, where Frances Anne died in 1918. Her paintings continue to enrich the National Archives of her adopted Canada.