White Horse Inn by Moonlight, 1851
oil on canvas
101.1 x 124.7 cm
Gift 1971, presented by Gabrielle Coste, Marie Louise Savon, and Eugene Francis Coste, grandchildren of Thomas Dillon Tims, to whom this painting was given by the artist
National Gallery of Canada (no. 16702)
Drawing inspiration from the Dutch painting of the period, Cornelius Krieghoff created this spectacular image towards the end of his Montreal period. One of his largest works, it depicts a horse-drawn sleigh that has stopped at a country inn, where the passengers will rest while the horses are changed. The tenor of the picture is romantic, and the winter scene, bathed in moonlight, is rich in anecdotal detail. Krieghoff was a brilliant observer, and he has captured the atmosphere of a dark winter’s night with great skill. That he was also a fine technician is evident from his sophisticated handling of the various light effects.