(1815 – 1872) Canadian
In 1837, at the age of 22 years, Cornelius Krieghoff crossed the Atlantic from Amsterdam to New York where he enlisted as a three-year volunteer in the American army. He served as an artist and recorder of the war against the Seminole Indians in Florida. After the war Krieghoff returned to New York where he met and married a French Canadian woman. The young couple left the United States and moved to Toronto, Canada. They eventually settled in Longueuil, near Montreal, Quebec. The last years of Krieghoff’s productive life were spent with his extended family in Chicago, Illinois until his death on March 9, 1872.
Cornelius Krieghoff was a passionate painter of people and nature. He found his inspiration in the everyday lives of ordinary people and the surrounding countryside. The images of people, village life, travelers on horse sleigh and merchants selling their wares were beautifully captured in time for future generations to appreciate.
In addition to his Habitant paintings, the North American Indians were of inspiration to the artist. Through mutual respect, this social group found a sympathetic and prolific interpreter in Krieghoff. The artist’s paintings truly capture their environment, the richness and changing colours of the forests and the brilliant splendour of the northern sky. Images of hunting and trading with the native peoples and their ways of traveling through lakes and by portage, give us the opportunity to visually experience an early way of life in North America.
"Sleigh Racing", Quebec 1852
Krieghoff’s paintings are in museums worldwide, collected internationally, and treasured for their beauty and important historical value.