Maid of the Mist Painting

Maid of the Mist Painting - L986.D.007

Made on canvas and framed with ornate wooden recessed frames, painted gold. 41cm wide by 48cm in length.

Legend of the Maid of the Mist, Barnett Collection.

This is likely one of a series of paintings to illustrate the fanciful tale fabricated around the often misstated or misinterpreted Indigenous story of Niagara Falls. We do not know the full origin of this particular story; however, it is not authentic. The authors of this “legend” tell of a beautiful maiden being sacrificed each year to the Spirit of the Falls. As the story goes, one year, the father of the maiden, depicted in this work, tried to rescue his daughter but was too late. Grief struck and he continued over the brink of the falls, suffering the same fate as his daughter. The actual story has to do with powerful Thunder Beings who lived behind the Falls and saved a distraught woman from committing suicide, helping her understand that a snake charm had plagued her life. The Thunder Beings removed that snake from her body and restored her health. She returned to her village and lived in peace.


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