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William George Richardson Hind

The Game of Bones


William George Richardson Hind
Nottingham, England, 1833 – Sussex, New Brunswick, 1889


The Game of Bones




Watercolour and gouache over traces of graphite


25.7 x 42.9 cm


Purchase, acquisition fund for Canadian art donated by Mr. Maurice Corbeil, Mrs. Howard W. Pillow, Mr. and Mrs. A. Murray Vaughan, Mr. and Mrs. Neil B. Ivory, and Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1967.1567


Graphic Arts

Writers interested in William G.R. Hind have noted the emphasis placed on the assemblage of clothing and accessories that compose what amounts to a still life in the foreground of this watercolour. The items contained therein were probably inspired by objects collected by the artist’s brother, the explorer Henry Houle Hind. The landscape depicted beneath a stormy sky might well be the mouth of the Moisie River, but the focus of the composition is the narrative frieze formed by the two guides: Louis, a member of the Montagnais Nation, from Sept-Îles, and Michel, from the Naskapi Nation. The game of bones they are considering is not discrete from the still life in the foreground, booty suggested by the arrows on both sides: partly clothed, one of the subjects finds himself with less to offer than the other facing him.

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