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another on her breast. 8 Didier Prioul identifies several aspects of the
painting that are typical of Légaré's early work - 'Les figures alignées
au premier plan, l'absence de profondeur du paysage et les rehauts lu-
mineux distribués sur le liséré des pièces de vêtements indiquent la
première manière de l'artiste' ('Joseph Légaré, paysagiste,' 193; The fig-
ures aligned in the foreground, the lack of depth in the landscape, and
the light accenting distributed on the borders of the clothing suggest
the artist's first manner) - to the degree that he proposes its date as 1827
or 1828, that is, right after the publication of the story. Although she will
die by burning, the crucifixion motif, and thus westernization of the
scene, is further emphasized by the vertical blocking of the canvas, the
cross-like arrangement of the logs in the foreground, and the Christ-
like pose of the victim, herself set directly against a massive central tree,
as was Christ against the cross. Terming this painting 'une mosaïque
d'emprunts' (mosaic of borrowed elements), Prioul posits several po-
tential sources including Rubens, Rosa, and DaVinci, thus further illus-
trating the amalgamation of the Amerindian and European traditions,
as does the painting's title, which emphasizes the native's ties to French-
Canadian heritage, not only through religion (martyre) but also through
her married name (Brunon).
A far more intricate treatment of space and place, nature and culture,
Amerindian and European, is found in Légaré's famous Paysage au
monument à Wolfe, circa 1845 (plate 3). Here the vast space of the moun-
tains in the far ground and the wild space of the forest in the fore-
ground are set against the enclosed place of the middle ground,
encompassing the statue of the British general Wolfe to the mid-right
and the anonymous Amerindian chief to its left. Indeed the various
planes of the painting are brought together by matching the twin peaks
in the distance to the two figures in the middle ground, and by mim-
icking Wolfe's gesture with the broken trees in the foreground, a sug-
gestion perhaps of nature's force and persistence, which also serves to
frame the scene itself. But the painting's meaning remains as cryptic as
it is suggestive. The statue clearly marks the spot as a place of com-
memoration, but the image of Wolfe comes from a then-recent engrav-
ing, not from any existing statue; its base is cracked and its inscription
missing. The Amerindian seems to render his bow in a gesture of sub-
mission, but he retains an axe, a tomahawk, and a gun beside him,
while his canoe awaits him to the right. The fact that the Indians fought
against the British alongside the French on the Plains of Abraham
(Benjamin West's famous painting of Wolfe's death notwithstanding)
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