LOT 118

1815 - 1872

Habitant and His Horse
oil on board
7 3/4 x 9 3/4 in, 19.7 x 24.8 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

Sold for: $61,250

Preview at:

M.P. Menard Collection
Berry-Hill Galleries, New York
Mitzi and Mel Dobrin, Montreal
Canadian Art, an Outstanding Collection: The Property of a Prominent Montreal Collector, Fraser Bros., Montreal, October 23, 1986, lot 120
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Toronto

Hugues de Jouvancourt, Cornelius Krieghoff, 1971, reproduced page 74

Among Cornelius Krieghoff’s best-loved works are his paintings of rural life in Lower Canada. During the artist’s Montreal period, from 1846 to 1853, he developed a series of small oils depicting single, emblematic First Nations or rural habitant figures performing tasks that signified their identity and place in society. These small paintings formed a typology of a way of life through carefully observed details of period dress and equipment, often situated in winter landscapes.

In Habitant and His Horse, a weary milk seller wearing the habitant’s distinctive belted coat and red toque trudges through the snow alongside his horse and sleigh. The horse is of the distinctive Canadian breed, descended from Norman and Breton horses introduced into New France in the seventeenth century. Likewise, the sleigh is a traditional habitant sleigh, with its platform sitting nearly flat against the snow, leaving deep bumps in its wake. Distinct from sleighs used by Anglophones, the habitant sleigh was designed for work, not pleasure. One can almost hear the milk tins clanging against the barrel as it jostles over the deep ruts in the snow, splashing milk skyward.

The present work boasts exceptional provenance, having sold through auction in 1986 from the esteemed collection of Montreal philanthropists and art collectors Mitzi and Mel Dobrin. This work was lot 120 in the historic sale and was acquired by the present private collection in Toronto.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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