William Kurelek's Huronia Mission Paintings
|Author: ||Pomedli, Michael|
This volume presents a biographical synopsis of Kurelek's life and work, to better place each of the 21 paintings in the perspective of the artist's temperament. Each reproduction is followed by a commentary that is a highly informative blend of aesthetics, history, theology, linguistics, geography, and ethnography. The result is a sustained meditation on what actually transpired between the Hurons, Iroquois, and the eight French missionaries who were destined for martyrdom. This volume provides a valuable effort to enter into the vision of Christianity which animates the pictures themselves, and to account for what Kurelek was able to portray about the daily life and spiritual vision of the Jesuits and their companions, about the Hurons and the Iroquois. This book will be a useful introduction to the Christian experiment that was Huronia, and an initial interpretation of Kurelek's paintings. This volume combines an historian's objectivity, a scholar's criticism, and an art lover's enthusiasm.
". . . brings together two discerning contemporary chroniclers of the lives of St. Jean [de Brébeuf] and his companions: painter William Kurelek and historian Michael Pomedli. . . . Professor Pomedli's witness takes the form of narrative commentaries on each of Kurelek's plates, which serve at once to retell the story of St. Jean de Brébeuf and to a lesser extent William Kurelek, and to provide an historical overlay drawing into high relief the complete circumstances, flora and climate, theology and interpretation, event and culture as well as names and dates, of the Huron and Jesuit encounter . . . . the book is nicely presented and sensitively argued." - The BC Catholic
". . . these paintings and Pomedli's text offer the rare opportunity to renew our experience of Canada's nation faith epic." - Compass