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CORNELIUS KRIEGHOFF (1815-1872)

 
 
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Cornelius Krieghoff
The First Snow / Canadian Homestead, c. 1856
Oil on canvas (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff Biography
 
   
 
 
Cornelius Krieghoff was perhaps the finest Canadian artist to describe Quebec life in the mid-nineteenth century. Born in Holland in 1815 and growing up in Bavaria, he sailed for North America in 1837, where he joined the U.S. Army and, apparently, was dispatched to a group fighting the Seminole Wars in Florida. Legend has it that he enrolled for a second tour of duty, received some advance pay and immediately went north, relocating to the Montreal area, specifically to Boucherville on the South Shore. There he married a Francophone, Emilie Gauthier. Records available at the Louvre as well as other Paris museums serve as evidence that he was in Paris in 1845 studying art and improving his ability by copying paintings by important masters, a practice not uncommon for aspiring artists, even today.

From 1846, for seven years, Cornelius Krieghoff was active in the Montreal area, after which he moved to Quebec City for some ten years where he enjoyed considerable success selling his genre paintings of the Canadiens and of the local autochtone. Krieghoff was highly accomplished as an artist, technically unsurpassed and a sensitive observer of both people and nature. With a critical eye to look at an important Krieghoff painting, "St. Anne River, Early Winter", one discovers an extensive palette of pigment applied with the hand and eye of an exceptional artist. The magnificence of the panorama exceeds even today’s promotional abilities for this area near St-Feriole des Neiges, where today the canyon attracts countless tourists. Krieghoff’s paintings of the Canadiens are primarily of the rural lifestyle, highly interpretive, upbeat in temperament and, we suggest, showing the influence of some of the Dutch and German genre painting in his heritage.

Krieghoff’s paintings of autochtones are compositionally somewhat consistent; painted with a masterful ability and often interpreting the autochtones respectful and harmonious relationship with their land. He was not only one of the premiere artists of his generation but also likely the most successful as an entrepreneur. He cultivated clients among Quebec society, including the British soldiers garrisoned there at the time. His ability to sell his paintings liberated him from the constraints of teaching, doing church decoration and portraiture, the work that so many aspiring artists - among them Alfred Holdstock, Antoine Plamondon and Théophile Hamel – were financially obliged to do in a young country. Because of his success we benefit from an important body of artwork that may amount to upwards of 1800 paintings.

From 1863 Cornelius Krieghoff seems to have spent about six years in Europe, returning briefly to Quebec in 1870 before moving to Chicago, where he died in 1872. Finally, it is noteworthy that the finest and largest collection of Krieghoff paintings was assembled by Canada’s foremost connoisseur, the now late Kenneth Thomson, Lord Thomson of Fleet, a gentleman with a world class eye for identifying truly great art of many different origins and vintages, as well as the financial ability to make their purchase. It is not coincidental that Krieghoff paintings would have been among his most passionate pursuits. A large selection of his Krieghoffs and equally fine works by other master artists has recently been donated by Lord Thomson’s Estate and his family to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Krieghoff paintings are represented in all major museums in Canada and in the finest collections of historical Canadian art.
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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Cornelius Krieghoff paintings sold
  Cornelius Krieghoff  - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Chippewas, Lake St. Clair (Canada West), 1867
Oil on canvas 27" x 36" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Pour L'amour du bon dieu!, 1858
Oil on canvas 10.1/4" x 8.3/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Va au diable!, 1858
Oil on canvas 10.1/4" x 8.3/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
In the Valley of the Caribou, below Quebec, ca. 1856
Oil on canvas diameter 14" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Dolly's Tavern, St. James Street, Montreal, 1845
Oil on board 7 15/16" x 10" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Early Canadian Settlers, Laurentians, ca. 1860
Oil on canvas 14 1/2" x 20" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Breaking the Lent
Oil on canvas 14" x 11 1/2" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Chippewa Indians at Lake Huron, 1864
Oil on canvas 25 1/2" x 35 1/2" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Clearing Land near the St. Maurice River, 1860
Oil on canvas 24 1/4" x 32 1/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
The Pets and the Materials, 1860
Oil on canvas 10 1/2" x 12 1/2" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Bargaining for a Load of Wood, 1860
Oil on canvas 14 1/4" x 18 3/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Winter Scene in the Laurentians, 1867
Oil on canvas 27" x 36" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Sleigh Race on the St. Lawrence at Quebec, 1852
Oil on canvas 18 3/4" x 24 3/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Family Outing, Winter, Longueuil, 1848
Oil on panel 7 3/4" x 9 3/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Return from Caribou Hunting
Oil on canvas 13 1/4" x 18 1/4" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Habitant Homestead in Winter, ca. 1860
Oil on canvas 11 1/2" x 20" (Sold)
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Cornelius Krieghoff
Run Off The Road In A Blizzard
Oil on canvas 11" x 20" (Sold)
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