“Returning From Market (After Sir Augustus Wall Callcott, 1779-1844)” by Cornelius Krieghoff

By: Greg Humeniuk

Lot 25 – Cornelius David Krieghoff (1815-1872), Canadian
RETURNING FROM MARKET (AFTER SIR AUGUSTUS WALL CALLCOTT, 1779-1844), oil on canvas; signed and inscribed; inscribed verso. 21.1 x 26.5 in — 53.5 x 67.3 cm. Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Cornelius Krieghoff is among a select number of Canadian artists whose diversity, quality and quantity of production has contributed to uninterrupted interest for nearly two centuries. Returning from Market, after Sir Augustus Wall Callcott, encapsulates this status and reflects the practice of artists in Canada making paintings after well-known works by European artists (see also Krieghoff’s Cleopatra, after Guido Reni, sold at Waddington’s November 2023).

Sir Augustus Wall Callcott’s painting, Returning from Market (1834) was well known in its era. In the early 19th century, Callcott was J.M.W. Turner’s foremost follower and asked prices for paintings similar to Turner’s, pursuing the commercial middle class as buyers. First exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834, it soon entered the collection of Robert Vernon, a successful English businessman and well-known collector of contemporary art and was reproduced in a series of engravings after paintings in Vernon’s collection known as the Vernon Gallery.

The renown of the copied paintings worked two ways for Krieghoff. Most obviously, it connected him with appreciated and fashionable paintings of the day, but it also showed a stylistic versatility beyond his successful paintings of Indigenous people and the local populace. Returning from Market is a brilliant, multilayered testament to the connections between Krieghoff’s continental influences and his well-known North American genre subjects. For all its English charm, the narrative and structure of the painting are consistent with Krieghoff’s North American images. A domestic group travelling through nature with provisions for sustenance and survival is as much about unity, domestic duty and hierarchy as it is an occasion to portray a landscape. As many of Krieghoff’s clientele were English members of Quebec’s mercantile or military elite, this sort of landscape would have been well received as a taste of home. Variants of this composition attributed to Krieghoff have appeared on the market, and by virtue of provenance we know the present version is the one cited by Marius Barbeau in his catalogue raisonné.[1]


Held online from May 24-29, 2024, our spring auction of Canadian and International Fine Art brings together exceptional work from around the world. This auction features celebrated Canadian artists such as Cornelius Krieghoff, A.Y. Jackson, P.C. Sheppard, A.J. Casson, Bertram Booker, Alexandra Luke, Jean Paul Lemieux and Yves Gaucher as well as important First Nations artists Norval Morrisseau, Roy Thomas and Alex Janvier. International highlights include work by Jules Olitski, Karel Appel, Kwon Young-Woo, Norman Bluhm, Józef Bakoś, Léon Lhermitte and Montague Dawson.

Previews will be available at our Toronto gallery, located at 275 King Street East, Second Floor, Toronto:

 Thursday, May 23 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
 Friday, May 24 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
 Saturday, May 25 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
 Sunday, May 26 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
 Monday, May 27 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
 Tuesday, May 28 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Or by appointment.

Please contact us to find out more.


[1] Marius Barbeau, Cornelius Krieghoff: Pioneer Painter of North America (Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada, 1934), 149, as Fording a River.

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