Sobey Foundation donates massive Monkman painting to N.S. art gallery

Renowned Cree artist Kent Monkman's sprawling contemporary painting depicting the collision of European and Aboriginal cultures has been donated to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

In a statement, the Halifax gallery says 'Miss Chief's Wet Dream' was acquired by the Donald R. Sobey Foundation and is one of the most important gifts the gallery has received.

The acrylic on canvas painting, which measures 7.5 metres by 3.5 metres, shows a canoe full of Indigenous people squaring off against and on a near-collision course with a raft carrying Europeans as seas rage around them.

The painting was inspired by two historical French paintings, 'Raft of the Medusa' and 'Christ at Sea', and shows Jesus Christ, Queen Victoria, a horse and Marie Antoinette among a cast of others on the tilting raft.

The gallery says it is the largest work Monkman has produced and is his first to centre around a maritime theme.

Rob Sobey announced the donation at the opening of Monkman's ``Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience'' exhibition at the gallery.