Canadian artist, Cornelius David Krieghoff was born on 19 June 1815 in Amsterdam, son of a German expatriate father and Belgian mother. In the early 1830's, it is believed he may have studied art at the Dusseldorf Academy. In 1836, he emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the American army, fighting against the Seminole Indians of Florida.
In New York, he met a young French-Canadian woman, Emile Gautier, whom he married. He was discharged in 1840 on rumors that he deserted, and then he went to Paris in 1844 to copy paintings in the Louvre. Cornelius Krieghoff later settled in Longueuil, then Montreal around 1847 or 1848.
Cornelius Krieghoff's early paintings are mainly local scenery, and often include his wife and young daughter. He also painted scenes of Indian life, portraits, and landscapes, which he sold door-to-door for $5 to $10 each.
During one of his trips to Quebec in the late 40's and 50's, he met the Quebec bon vivant and merchant John Budden, who urged him to move to Quebec and focus on genre subjects. Cornelius Krieghoff agreed and became the first Quebec painter to specialize in genre painting, which became extremely popular.
In the late 1860's, Cornelius Krieghoff went to Europe, continuing to paint Canadian subjects there.
He may have been in Chicago, returning to Quebec in 1870. He died in March 1878 in Chicago.
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