Cornelius Krieghoff lived a peripatetic existence. Born in Amsterdam in 1815, he spent his formative years all over Europe: Germany, Austria, Italy, France. He studied music and art, bathing in the currents of nineteenth-century romanticism. By the middle of the century, he had made his way to North America, first to the United States, then to Toronto, Montreal and Québec City.
Something about the Québec City region struck a chord with the Dutch artist, inspiring him to brush his impressions into dozens of paintings. Through those paintings, we are able to see aspects of Québec life that photography is simply unable to capture. In short, we are able to see Krieghoff’s Québec.
Krieghoff’s Québec is populist. There are ordinary people in his pictures, people going about the business of being human. They are working and playing, laughing and loving. Krieghoff’s Québec is rural. It is in the woods and by the waterfall, along a country lane and across a babbling brook. And, most conspicuously, Krieghoff’s Québec is four seasons in all their grandeur. It is forests in full fall color and windswept winter landscapes.
Krieghoff’s Québec is still here. Come see it.