The Passing Storm, Saint-Ferréol, 1854
oil on canvas
39 x 50.2 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15190)
"The Passing Storm, Saint-Ferréol" is one of Krieghoff's first paintings of a waterfall. Unusually for this artist, the landscape includes no sign of human life. The handling of the rocks, which successfully marries scrupulous realism and expressive form, is quite remarkable. We are struck by the subtlety and complexity of the chromatic harmonies - largely combinations of various tones of brown, green and red - and the topography of the site takes second place to the beauty of its colours, shapes and textures. Cornelius Krieghoff does not simply record the approaching storm, he makes us feel it.