The Saint Anne Falls, 1855
oil on canvas
40 x 48.6 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 37780)
The various waterfalls in the country surrounding Quebec City, quintessentially picturesque sites, were popular excursion destinations that also provided artists from the late 18th century on with choice subjects. Here, the cascade is shown frontally, in a colourful autumnal setting. Coursing down the rocks in multiple streams, the water reforms into a river at the base of the falls. Cornelius Krieghoff has represented himself leaning against a tree trunk in the centre foreground, admiring the view, portfolio tucked under his arm. The figure's tiny size heightens the sublime character of the image.