Cornelius Krieghoff Painting of Ste. Anne River, Quebec North Shore, ca. 1863
Cornelius Krieghoff developed into the finest artist describing Quebec life of the mid 19th Century. Born in Holland in 1815, spending part of his youth in Bavaria, he sailed for North America in 1837 arriving in the United States where he joined the army. Within a few years records show that he was in Boucherville near Montreal on the south shore of the St. Lawrence where he married a local girl, Emilie Gauthier. After studying art in Paris in the mid 1840s he returned to the Montreal area advertising himself as an artist, staying there for seven years during which he met with modest success selling his fine paintings. Urged by Quebec City auctioneer John Budden to relocate to Quebec in 1853 it is there where arguably he both painted his finest works and met with success selling his paintings.
Ste. Anne River, Early Winter, a painting painted around 1863, shows Cornelius Krieghoff as a most accomplished artist of his generation, technically beyond reproach with a keen sense of observation and respect for the Canadian people and the rich landscape of his adopted country. The magnificence of Krieghoff’s panorama exceeds even contemporary promotional abilities to show this breathtaking area, which today attracts countless tourists to the Sainte-Anne Canyon region near Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.
For a painting of the same area please refer to the Thomson Collection P-C-531, "Early Winter on the St. Anne’s Below Quebec", 1863, a painting now on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (illustrated on page 122, "Krieghoff, Images of Canada", by Dennis Reid with copyright 1999 by Art Gallery of Ontario).
Underscoring the importance of our composition, one should know that unlike so much of fine mid 19th Century paintings, this painting is impeccable in its restorative condition, untouched other than by Krieghoff himself until after we recently made its purchase when we had professionally removed nearly 150 years of accumulated dirt as well as the original and yellowed coat of varnish and then lightly varnished it. Our master restorer, a gentleman who has restored countless Krieghoffs was categoric in his statement that he had never had one in his studio so fine in its condition.
It is our opinion that it is among the Canadian ''Old Masters'' category that there are value investment opportunities (see our April 1 Newsletter, Krieghoff, Cullen, older Canadian art key to astute buying). This Krieghoff, Ste. Anne River, Early Winter, is a jewel-like composition by indisputably one of the foremost Canadian Old Masters, which by reasons of the scarcity of fine quality work and in a restorative condition worthy of ownership, is an historical painting of great significance and quality, aesthetically/visually most beautiful and available at a market price which is modest in comparison to prices one pays for works of art of lesser importance, executed by artists also of lesser importance and available in greater quantity.
Restating distinguished American art dealer Richard Feigen's "Opinion" published in February's "Art & Auction" which in part reads: "The quality and significance of certain Old Masters is no mystery for those with eyes. Condition and authenticity are obvious to specialists, who are on call. Museums proliferate; demand must rise." This reinforces my opinion that in the Canadian context the collector or investor who takes pleasure in the visuals of Ste. Anne River, Early Winter would be making an astute purchase buying this important Cornelius Krieghoff painting.
Please note this painting has been sold. Should you have an interest in paintings by the same artist, we would encourage you to send us an email.