Lot 39: CORNELIUS KRIEGHOFFCAUGHNAWAGA INDIANS, WINTER, oil on canvas; signed 8.75 ins x 12.25 ins; 21.9 cms x 30.6 cms Provenance: Watson Art Galleries, Montreal.Private Collection, Ontario.Literature: Marius Barbeau, "Cornelius Krieghoff, PioneerPlatinum House
November 26, 2012
Toronto, ON, CanadaLive Auction
Description: CORNELIUS KRIEGHOFFCAUGHNAWAGA INDIANS, WINTER, oil on canvas; signed 8.75 ins x 12.25 ins; 21.9 cms x 30.6 cms $30,000-50,000Provenance: Watson Art Galleries, Montreal.Private Collection, Ontario.Literature: Marius Barbeau, "Cornelius Krieghoff, Pioneer Painter of North America", Toronto, 1934, listed on page 134.Dennis Reid, "Cornelius Krieghoff: The Development of a Canadian Artist," "Krieghoff Images of Canada", Toronto, 1999, page 82. Ramsay Cook, "The Outsider as Insider: Cornelius Krieghoff's Art of Describing", "Krieghoff Images of Canada", ed. Dennis Reid, Toronto, 1999, page 163. Francois-Marc Gagnon, "Perceiving the Other: French-Canadian and Indian Iconography in the Work of Cornelius Krieghoff", "Krieghoff Images of Canada", ed. Dennis Reid, Toronto, 1999, page 233.Note: Krieghoff would have first encountered the Caughnawaga natives in Montreal, where the women would sell traditional crafts, such as the basket depicted in this painting. "Caughnawaga Indians" is exemplary of one of the artist's frequently produced subjects. Dennis Reid describes: "As common as the Native hunter is the Native woman with baskets, moccasins, or other women's work for sale, travelling to town in the summer, or winter...". By 1850, Krieghoff had mastered the Dutch painting tradition of absorbing the viewer into the painting. In "Caughnawaga Indians" the eyes of the two female subjects meet that of the viewers, as if inviting them to follow along the snow-laden trail to Montreal. The bare landscape surrounding the three subjects, with exception to Mount Royal in the distance, is Krieghoff's interpretation of modernity inciting a change in the landscape; what Francois-Marc Gagnon writes was for Krieghoff "...an inevitable result of colonization [visible through] the pushing back of the forest."