Canadian and International Fine Art

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November 30, 2023 at 8:00 pm ET

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LOT 31

Lot 31

Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)

Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)
Lot 31 Details
Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872), Canadian


oil on canvas
signed, dated and inscribed "Quebec"
11.75 x 17.5 in — 29.5 x 44.5 cm

Estimate $60,000-$80,000

Realised: $58,350
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)
  • Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)
  • Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)
  • Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)
  • Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)
  • Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872)

The Cooling Galleries Ltd., London/Toronto, ON;
Estate of Private Collector, Hamilton, ON;
Sotheby's Canada in association with Ritchies, Toronto, ON, 22 Nov 2004, lot 4, as Indian Camp in Winter;
Collection of Sir Christopher and Lady Ondaatje


Krieghoff and his audience were fascinated by the First Nations population of Canada. Some 450 of his paintings—about one-third of his known oeuvre—centre around this subject. Krieghoff’s interest in the First Nations only grew the longer he lived in Canada. Accordingly, it formed a major part of his output during his stay in Quebec. Dennis Reid notes that, in contrast to Montreal First Nations pictures (please see lot 22, Caughnawaga Indians at Camp), what we see in the Quebec First Nations pictures are “the figures growing ever smaller and less closely observed in an increasingly important landscape.” (1) Gone is Krieghoff’s appetite for closely observed ethnographic details. Instead, the artist uses the human figure as a way to better situate the viewer more fully into the context of the landscape.

Another great difference between the Montreal and Quebec scenes, per Reid, is that “these are the Natives Krieghoff knew.” (2) By this point, Krieghoff had travelled into the bush and had met actual First Nations people. Interestingly, with increased contact came an increasingly romantic view on Krieghoff’s part. Unlike the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt, Krieghoff felt the opposite. He considered the First Nations to be a vital people, deeply connected to the Canadian landscape which had long fascinated him. In a scene such as Indians Making Camp in the Snow, Reid suggests that for Krieghoff, this idealistic view was best communicated through a sumptuous landscape, and that the romance of these pink wintery skies stands in as a love letter to a world he found equal parts inaccessible and irresistible.

(1) Dennis Reid, Krieghoff: Images of Canada, (Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1999), 83.

(2) Reid, 83.


Good overall condition. Lined. Consolidation particularly around edges. Mild craquelure.

LOT 31

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.