11315

TWO VERY RARE WATERCOLOR DEPICTIONS OF THE GREENLAND INUIT HUNTERS POQ AND QIPEROQ

Danish School. Eighteenth Century.

Measurements

Two hunters- Framed: Width: 28 1/2" (71.8 cm); Height: 22 1/2" (57.2 cm); Sight Size: Width: 19.5" (49.5 cm); Height: 14" (35.6 cm).
Kayak-Framed: Width: 27"(68.6); Height: 21 1/2" (54.6 cm); Sight Size: Width: 19.5" (49.5 cm); Height: 13 3/4" (20.3 cm).

Research
Watercolor on paper.

Marks:
Watermark:
J. HONIG
&
ZOONEN

Provenance:
Old U.S. Collection

The two men depicted in the first watercolor drawing are the Inuit hunters Poq and Qiperoq, the first Inuit from West Greenland to visit Europe by their own free will in 1724.

This visit took place three years after the missionary Hans Egede arrived in Greenland. The young priest curate from Northern Norway had developed an enthusiasm for missionary work during his student days in Copenhagen; he intended to go to Greenland to find the Norwegian Viking settlements and, assuming they were still catholic, convert them to the Protestant faith. In 1719 he was able to present his plans to King Frederick IV in Copenhagen and in 1720-21, with the help of funding from merchants, the king and the church, succeeded in establishing the Bergen Greenland Company (1721-27), whose task was to renew the trade with Greenland. Egede did not find any Viking descendants, but, fired by missionary zeal, still spent 15 years in the country working relentlessly among the Inuit, learning their language, collecting a wealth of information, and publishing several “detailed and impressively accurate accounts” of Greenland’s topography, history, language and culture.1

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.