Lot Sale Results

Cornelius David Krieghoff
Fine Canadian Art Fall 2005 Live auction

Lot # 147

Cornelius David Krieghoff
1815 - 1872 Canadian

Lumber Raft on the St. Lawrence in Bad Weather
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1867
18 1/4 x 27 1/2 in  46.3 x 69.8cm

Provenance:
Sold Sotheby & Co. (Canada) Ltd, May 25 - 27, 1970, lot 52, reproduced on pages 38 and 39
Private Collection, Toronto

Literature:
J. Russell Harper, Krieghoff, 1979, page 96

The Napoleonic Wars, which blocked access for the British to traditional sources of timber in the Baltic, caused the Canadian lumber trade to flourish. Lumber cribs or drams were made up of 600 to 700 pieces of wood, lashed together to make a 20-metre wide vessel that measured anywhere from 80 to 120 metres in length. Several drams were then attached to make a raft. Heavily laden with square-cut timbers, these rafts headed down the St. Lawrence from the Ottawa River to markets in Montreal, Eastern Canada, the United States and Europe. Some even had sails, as depicted in this painting. Most rafts featured living quarters for the raftsmen including a fire for cooking over a sand surface, and small cabins with beds made of half-cylinders of bark.

This dramatic painting is one of a few versions Krieghoff painted for sale to private clients of the same subject commissioned by the Quebec Assembly for its Parliament Buildings. Harper writes, “A more colourful and romantic canvas in Krieghoff’s House of Assembly series is a painting of a wild storm on Lake St. Peter below Montreal where the St. Lawrence widens out to become a shallow lake…Even in a moderate wind the lake would ‘run a sea’ and many rafts were wrecked or damaged in its high waves.” Unfortunately, the paintings in the Quebec House of Assembly were lost in a fire in 1883. As lumbering was Canada’s major industry at this time, this subject was of great interest to both the government and to Krieghoff’s private clients, wealthy merchants and military officers.

Estimate: $70,000 ~ $90,000 CAD

Sold For: $57,017.54 CAD (including buyer's premium)


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