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 Cornelius David Krieghoff  (1812 - 1872)

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Lived/Active: Quebec/Illinois / Canada      Known for: frontier genre, animal and landscape painting

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Ad Code: 2
Cornelius David Krieghoff
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Canadian artist, Cornelius David Krieghoff was born on 19 June 1815 in Amsterdam, son of a German expatriate father and Belgian mother.  In the early 1830's, it is believed he may have studied art at the Dusseldorf Academy.  In 1836, he emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the American army, fighting against the Seminole Indians of Florida.

In New York, he met a young French-Canadian woman, Emile Gautier, whom he married.  He was discharged in 1840 on rumors that he deserted, and then he went to Paris in 1844 to copy paintings in the Louvre.  He later settled in Longueuil, then Montreal around 1847 or 1848.

Krieghoff's early paintings are mainly local scenery, and often include his wife and young daughter.  He also painted scenes of Indian life, portraits, and landscapes, which he sold door-to-door for $5 to $10 each.

During one of his trips to Quebec in the late 40's and 50's, he met the Quebec bon vivant and merchant John Budden, who urged him to move to Quebec and focus on genre subjects.  Krieghoff agreed and became the first Quebec painter to specialize in genre painting, which became extremely popular.

In the late 1860's, Krieghoff went to Europe, continuing to paint Canadian subjects there.

He may have been in Chicago, returning to Quebec in 1870.  He died in March 1878 in Chicago.

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Biography from Mayberry Fine Art:
Born in Lobberich, Germany in 1812,Cornelius Krieghoff came to the United States in 1837.  He joined the American Army the same year and served until 1840.  During his term of duty he made many sketches of the Seminole tribal war from which he later did paintings.  On May 5, 1840, he deserted, taking his drawings with him.

He lived in Montreal for a while and participated in the Salon de la Societe des Artistes de Montreal with the painter Martin Somerville.  During his stay in Montreal he befriended the Indians at the Sault Saint-Louis Reservation (Caughnawaga) and made many sketches of them which he later used as inspirations for his paintings.

In 1847 he was invited to participate in the first exhibition of the Toronto Society of Arts.  In 1853, on the invitation of John Budden, auctioneer, he went to live in Quebec City. 

He returned to Europe in 1854 and visit Italy and Germany.  Back in Canada in 1855, the artist painted winter scenes of farm houses as well as a great variety of themes. Most of the sketches he made since 1855 were destroyed in the Great Quebec Fire in 1881. In 1868 he retired in Chicago. He came back to Quebec City in 1871 only to return again to Chicago where he passed away.

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