LOT 137

1815 - 1872

Moccasin Seller with Papoose Crossing the Ice
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled on the gallery label
11 x 9 in, 27.9 x 22.9 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

Sold for: $18,750

Preview at:

Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal
A Prominent Montreal Estate

Dennis Reid, Krieghoff: Images of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1999, a similar work entitled Indian Woman, Moccasin Seller, circa 1855, in the Thomson Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, reproduced page 168

While Cornelius Krieghoff lived in Quebec City, he observed Indigenous women traveling to the city on foot in all seasons to sell their handiwork, such as baskets and moccasins. Some distance away was a Huron village at Lorette, where craftspeople in a small factory produced items such as snowshoes, toboggans, paddles, beadwork and basketry for sale.

This is an especially finely worked piece from Krieghoff’s genre of small single-figure portraits of Indigenous women and men. It is painted with superb technique in meticulous detail, such as in the exquisitely rendered ice cakes on the frozen St. Lawrence River, defined with subtle tones of blue, green and grey. Their three-dimensionality is emphasized by deeper blue shadows in crevices and at their bases. The smooth snowy path the woman is traversing provides a bright contrast to the red and orange in her clothing as well as the blue cloth her child is wrapped in on her back. Krieghoff even includes small patches of snow kicked up from the path on her golden footwear. Pairs of moccasins hang from her waist, each different in their colour and beadwork. Finally, Krieghoff’s sky is sublime—cloud formations billow up, greyish and foglike above the ice, then bloom with gold and pink at the top, parting to reveal the glorious blue firmament beyond.

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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