KRIEGHOFF: IMAGES OF CANADA Special Exhibition on view from 13 October 2000 to 7 January 2001
Ottawa, Canada - October 6, 2007
« Krieghoff. Image du Canada. Exposition à l'affiche du 13 octobre 2000 au 7 janvier 2001 »
Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872) was one of the first artists to capture in oil Canada's fall colours, icy winters and pioneer spirit. Krieghoff: Images of Canada is an ambitious retrospective of more than 150 paintings and prints, an exhibition of vital importance in the study of historical Canadian art. Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Ontario, the exhibition is on view in the National Gallery of Canada's Special Exhibition Galleries from 13 October 2000 to 7 January 2001. Admission: Adults $12, seniors and full-time students $10. Free for Friends of the NGC and visitors under 12.
A media preview will take place on Wednesday 11 October from 10 am to 4 pm. Dennis Reid, Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario and René Villeneuve, Associate Curator, Canadian Art, National Gallery of Canada, will give guided tours of the exhibition and will be available for interviews.
Cornelius Krieghoff was an artist particularly attuned to his audience; this is perhaps the main reason his images of Canada fascinate us still. Born of German and Flemish parents in Amsterdam in 1815, Krieghoff's background gave him a familiarity with Dutch genre painting, a style he introduced to Canada in the 1840s. Fascinated by the world of the French-Canadian settlers, Krieghoff captured the hardships of the land, the unbearably cold winters, and the isolation of the new world. He also convincingly revealed the comforts of family life in humble rural homes, and the merriment of life at the inns. His attention to detail captivates us to this day-the colourful tuques of the habitants, the cozy wooden sleighs, the horses harnessed with decorative ribbons, the playful dogs, the bundled-up children-all romantic images of another time.
Krieghoff devoted a considerable portion of his energies to landscape painting. Very soon after settling in Quebec City, he produced one of the largest canvases he would ever paint, the spectacular Montmorency Falls, 1853. A superb pair of paintings recently acquired by the National Gallery of Canada show the falls on the St. Anne River, one from above where the water is sucked into a deep crevice and the other from below where the water collects as a river again. Both beautifully capture Canada's autumn colours.
About one third of Krieghoff's œuvre, some 450 works, is devoted to the subject of Canada's First Nations. Initially, he painted single individuals based on his observation of "Indians" encountered in the streets of Montreal. Only after his move to Quebec City did he paint genre scenes that included native figures. At first his treatment was of the external, as he concentrated on details of costume rather than on facial characteristics.
But Krieghoff perservered in trying to penetrate a world he found foreign but irresistible. As his native iconography developed, his image of the Indian conveyed a harmonious vitality, an affirmation of life and freedom in nature's wilderness.
For the Ottawa presentation, the National Gallery of Canada has added to this travelling exhibition, 15 prints, watercolours and oils by some of Krieghoff's contemporaries. This selection, drawn from the Gallery's permanent collection, includes Robert C. Todd's celebrated The Ice Cone, Montmorency Falls (c. 1850), James Duncan's powerful Hunters returning from a Storm (c. 1865) and the delightful Zity, a Huron Indian (c. 1840) by Coke Smythe.
The National Gallery of Canada is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; Thursdays to 8 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the National Gallery of Canada presents:
Saturday 14 October at 2 pm Cornelius Krieghoff: The Development of a Canadian Artist, by Dennis Reid, Curator of the exhibition Krieghoff and Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario. In the Auditorium. Admission: adults $5, seniors and full-time students $4, Friends $3, visitors under 18 free (but ticket required).
For children aged 4 and up accompanied by an adult, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm or 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Fee: $6 per family (Friends $4). Registration recommended: (613) 998-8888. Bilingual. In the Studio.
Sunday 22 October Krieghoff: The Entrepreneurial Artist. A tour of the exhibition followed by a painting activity in the Studio.
Wednesday 27 December Making Connections: Krieghoff and His Contemporaries. A tour of the exhibition and permanent collection galleries, followed by the creation of a mural in the Studio.
Produced by Radio-Canada (102,5 FM). Admission: $ 6; $5 for Friends of the National Gallery.
Sunday 15 October at 2 pm The Nouvelle-France Ensemble, conducted by Louise Courville. In the Rideau Chapel.
Thursday 21 December at 7 pm A Christmas Concert with Le Choeur du festival de musique sacrée de l'Outaouais conducted by Michael Hartney. In the Auditorium.
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