• Frances Anne Hopkins and the George Back connection: tracking through the Canadian landscapes of two nineteenth-century artists to find where lines converge

      MacDonald, Pamela K. (2004-08)
      My paper examines the artistic influence of the renowned British explorer and artist George Back on fellow Rupert's Land artist Frances Anne Hopkins, wife of Edward Hopkins, the man in charge of the Montreal Division of the Hudson's Bay Company in the mid-nineteenth century. The aesthetic gap between the two artists is wide in that Back's sketches depict a kind of terrifying wasteland quality best described as sublime. Hopkins' Canadian landscapes are colorful, on the other hand, and show people who are at ease with their surroundings. Other notable artists also documented nineteenth-century Canadian landscapes in visual images and may have had an indirect influence on Hopkins. I suggest, however, a more direct link may be made between the artists beyond the similarities drawn out of their sublime and beautiful images. My study proposes to show that influence may exist based on Hopkins' father and his Admiralty connection to Back. After a discussion on the important historical aspects coloring the artists' work, I will clarify the Hopkins family-tie relationship to Back, followed by a discussion of their art and potential evidence of influence.