The modelling of the moose’s head in this drawing and the detail with which the antlers are rendered reflect Vincent’s development as an artist. It can also be understood as an expression of the animist, totemic principles that are of great importance in Indigenous cultures. According to this worldview every human being is symbolically linked to and identified with the totemic animal associated with his clan; furthermore, the moose evokes the creation myth of the Wendat chiefs.
Zacharie Vincent’s Indigenous Legacy
Zacharie Vincent, Head of a Moose, from Nature, c.1855
Watercolour and graphite on paper mounted on cardboard, 16 x 18.1 cm, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec