ArtworksCornelius KrieghoffCanadian Habitant in Blue Tuque, a Self-Portrait, 1850 (circa)1815-1872Sold
Inscriptionssigned, inscribed and dated by the artist, ‘Canadian habitant with blue Tuque (self portrait) by Cornelius Krieghoff ca 1850,’ (verso)
Mr. W.W.C. Wilson, Montreal.
Continental Galleries, Montreal.
Private collection, Westmount, Quebec
LiteratureMarius Barbeau, Cornelius Krieghoff, Pioneer Painter of North America (Toronto: The MacMillan Company of Canada Limited, 1934), 122
This self portrait by Cornelius Krieghoff is of formidable importance to the study of the master. It is one of only two self portraits by the artist. Matthew Teitelbaum as Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario, appropriately referred to Cornelius Krieghoff as “Canada’s most important nineteenth century painter” . Much has been written about Krieghoff’s outstanding painterly abilities and his interpretation of his adopted home and its inhabitants, Francophone, anglophone and Indigenous. Yet, “Cornelius Krieghoff is the best known but least understood nineteenth century Canadian artist”, Dennis Reid, Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario wrote in 1999 as head of the project resulting in the Art Gallery Of Ontario’s Krieghoff exhibition.
His legacy in paintings, genre paintings, composed with the temperament of Romanticism, serve as an invaluable record of costumes, interiors and farmsteads, and travel of the period.
Although we are familiar with Krieghoff’s habitant studies, sometimes capped in red tuques and at others in blue, and yet in others smoking a pipe, this is unique insofar as he has painted himself in the dress of a Canadien. That Krieghoff dated this “ca 1850” implies that he dated the painting some years after it was initially painted.
 Krieghoff, Cornelius, Ramsay Cook, Gagnon François-Marc and Dennis Reid. Krieghoff: Images of Canada. Vancouver, British Columbia: Douglas & McIntyre, 1999, vii.
 Ibid., viii.1of 4