( 16 April 1914 - 20 November 2005 )
Canute Caliste was born Emmanuel Caliste on 16 April 1914 in the fishing village of L’Esterre in Carriacou, the beautiful thirteen-square-mile sister island of Grenada. A self-taught painter, he was also a fisherman, sea cook, boat builder, and master Quadrille violin player. Something of an eccentric, Caliste claimed to have been inspired by a vision of a mermaid at the age of nine, and to have begun painting soon after. He painted scenes from the life he saw around him in his own unique style, usually signing his works © Mr Canute Caliste and adding hand-lettered captions and descriptions. His spelling mistakes and bad syntax have become endearing trademarks.
Canute's paintings were featured in the 1989 book The Mermaid Wakes, which was later adapted into an Off-Broadway play.
Canute Caliste passed away 20 November 2005 in Grenada at the age of 91. He is buried in the Joseph cemetery in L'Esterre.
[Biographic notes compiled by Patrick Jamieson.]
Available Art Works:
Berg, Lora. The Mermaid Wakes: The Paintings of a Caribbean Isle. London: Macmillan Caribbean .
Ferguson, James. “The artist of Carriacou.” Caribbean Beat, Issue 136 (November/December 2015).
Hill, Donald R. “A Carriacouan View of the African Diaspora: 'African' Themes in the Paintings of Canute Caliste.” Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters. Vol 3, Num 2 / Fall-Winter 2005, pages 148-158. Includes Bibliography.
Johnn, Eric. “Heeding the Mermaids Instructions: The Work of Three Grenadian Artists.” Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters. Vol 3, Num 2 / Fall-Winter 2005, pages 129-137.
Mason, Peter. “Canute Caliste Obituary.” The Guardian (US Edition), Thur 24 Nov 2005.