Lot #5

Cornelius Krieghoff
Sledge Race Near Montreal

hand-coloured lithograph
with printed inscriptions “Painted by C. Krieghoff, Printed by Th. Kammerer & Lith. by A. Borum, Munich” in the margin
13.5 x 19.25 ins ( 34.3 x 48.9 cms )

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Private Collection, Toronto
Marius Barbeau, Cornelius Krieghoff, Pioneer Painter of Canada, Toronto, 1934, page 55, page 126 for a listing and description of the print
Hugues de Jouvancourt, Cornelius Krieghoff, Toronto, 1971, page 26 for “Sledge Race near Montreal”, illustrated
J. Russell Harper, Krieghoff, Toronto, 1990, pages 25-26, page 37 for “Sledge Race near Montreal”
Dennis Reid, “Krieghoff: Images of Canada”, Vancouver/Toronto, 1999, pages 62-63 for a discussion of the Montreal prints
This lithograph was published by A. Borum of Munich under the patronage of Lord Elgin, then Governor of Canada. Hugues de Jouvancourt explains that Cornelius Krieghoff and Lord Elgin met while “the latter was passing through the village on a tour of inspection.” Seeing his work Elgin “was full of praise for this kind of painting describing the life of the people living in this corner of the province and was struck by the variety of subjects treated by the painter. Since lithography was then all the rage, Krieghoff explained that he intended to choose some of his most typical paintings and have engravings made of them. Lord Elgin thought this was an excellent idea and offered his patronage... Later that year, coloured lithographs printed by Kammerer made their appearance...and were an immediate success.”

On Krieghoff’s keen business acumen in producing lithographs of his most popular paintings and depictions, J. Russell Harper notes that Krieghoff had “deliberately chosen them to appeal to the emerging class of independent tradespeople, army officers, and overseas businessmen who wanted economical souvenirs of Canada... Canadians bought the brightly coloured prints of Krieghoff’s paintings, imported from Germany and the United States by the artist himself, to hang in their living rooms in emulation of the wealthy who could afford to buy his more expensive oils.” These four prints are testament to the early beginnings of Canada and the burgeoning middle class of society eager to establish their status and place in a new land of opportunity. The works contain all the hallmarks of the pioneer settlement, Indigenous populations and early phases of industry that would later shape the socio-economic structure of modern Canada.

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Cornelius Krieghoff
(1815 - 1872)

In 1837, Cornelius Krieghoff came to the United States and joined the American army until 1840. During his term of duty he made many sketches of the Seminole tribal war from which he later did paintings. He lived in Montreal for some time and participated in the Salon de la Societe des Artistes de Montreal with the painter Somerville. During his stay in Montreal he befriended the Indians at the Sault Saint-Louis Reservation (Caughnawaga) and made many sketches of them which he later used as inspiration for his paintings. In 1847, he was invited to participate in the first exhibition of the Toronto Society of Arts. In 1853, on the invitation of John Budden, auctioneer, he went to live in Quebec City. He returned to Europe in 1854 and visit Italy and Germany. Back in Canada in 1855, the artist painted winter scenes of farm houses as well as a great variety of themes. Most of the sketches he made since 1855 were destroyed in the Great Quebec Fire in 1881. In 1868 he retired in Chicago. He came back to Quebec City in 1871 only to return again to Chicago where he passed away on March 8.