Cornelius David Krieghoff
1815 - 1872
Indians Approaching a Portage & Shooting a Deer (Lake St. Joseph, Quebec)
oil on canvas, circa 1860
signed and on verso titled on the Laing Galleries label
14 x 19 5/8 in 35.6 x 49.8 cm
Dr. J.C.R. Lorimer
Laing Galleries, Toronto
By descent to the present Private Estate, Calgary
This outstanding tableau of First Nations hunters is likely from the period when Cornelius Krieghoff lived in Quebec City, from 1853 to 1863. Krieghoff was well acquainted with First Nations people while he lived there – he saw Mi’kmaq and Montagnais (Innu) peoples camped at Indian Cove on the Levis River and Huron First Peoples at the village of Lorette. Krieghoff also embarked on hunting and fishing trips that employed First Nations men as guides. This painting, while carefully composed, catches the hunters in a naturalistic way, as if we had just rounded the corner and caught sight of them, as one man shoots at a fleeing deer while the other paddles to shore. Krieghoff’s view is a romantic one – the hunters pursue their prey in a stunning landscape in which autumn colours blaze in the foliage. In the foreground is a large boulder, a frequent compositional device used by the artist, which anchors the scene. Krieghoff was an admirer of the First Nations people he met in Quebec; he was impressed by their nobility of character, which he felt was untainted by the corruption of civilization, and their ability to survive by living off the land.
Available for viewing at: Heffel Toronto – 135 Yorkville Ave
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