Indian Hunters at a Portage, c. 1860
Captain W.A. Dobie, London, England;
Watson Art Galleries, Montreal;
Private collection, London, England and Montreal;
Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Montreal
Depictions of Indigenous people form a large part of Cornelius Krieghoff’s very significant body of work, estimated at 1500 – 1800 paintings and prints. After arriving in Canada from Bavaria, Germany, via the United States, Krieghoff settled first in Boucherville, Quebec, and moved frequently while developing his skills as an artist. Indian Hunters at a Portage is circa dated to his time in Québec City, and is a classic depiction of a First Nations life, idealized through Krieghoff’s hand. Four hunters are pulled up on the edge of a river, two clean their rifles, while one makes a fire in the lee of a large rock. The fourth hunter kneels beside their prize, a woodland caribou. The edge of the river is peace full and calm, with autumn colour and gentle light bathing the scene.