Paul Kane was an Irish-born Canadian painter, famous for his paintings of First Nations peoples in the Canadian West and other Native Americans in the Columbia District.
A largely self-educated artist, Paul Kane grew up in York, Upper Canada and trained himself by copying European masters on a "Grand Tour" study trip through Europe. He undertook two voyages through the Canadian northwest in 1845 and from 1846 to 1848. The first trip took him from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie and back. Having secured the support of the Hudson's Bay Company, he set out on a second, much longer voyage from Toronto across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Vancouver and Fort Victoria.
On both trips Kane sketched and painted First Nations and Métis peoples. Upon his return to Toronto, he produced more than one hundred oil paintings from these sketches. The oil paintings he completed in his studio are considered a part of the Canadian heritage, although he often embellished them considerably, departing from the accuracy of his field sketches in favour of more dramatic scenes. Kane's work followed the tenets of salvage ethnography.