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Cornelius Krieghoff is probably the most popular Canadian
painter of the 19th century. He was born in Amsterdam in 1815 and later moved to the United States. There, he met his future wife, Emilie Gautier. He
followed her back to her home of Quebec in 1840. Krieghoff is most famous for his paintings of Canadian landscapes and Canadian life outdoors, particularly
in the winter. Cornelius Krieghoff's interpretations of life in mid-19th century Québec were as well-known and sought after in his own lifetime as they are
today. This artist with an entrepreneurial bent was prolific: an estimated 1500 to 1800 paintings and prints suggest a ready and eager market for his images
of rural francophones, aboriginal peoples, leisure sports, and landscapes and portraits. "There is hardly a Canadian home without some memento of him"
claimed the artist's obituary. He was much imitated in his own time, and the enduring value of Krieghoff's works has encouraged forgery in ours. Seldom in
the past 30 years has an auction of Canadian art not included at least one painting "by," "attributed to," or "after" Krieghoff.
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