VIEW-25417 | "Aboriginal camp site", painting by Cornelius Krieghoff, copied for Watson Art Gallery 1934-1935

 
Photograph
"Aboriginal camp site", painting by Cornelius Krieghoff, copied for Watson Art Gallery 1934-1935
Wm. Notman & Son
1934-1935, 20th century
Silver salts on film (nitrate) - Gelatin silver process
19 x 24 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
VIEW-25417
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Art (2774) , Painting (2229) , painting (2227) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Nineteenth-century Europeans tended to adopt stereotypes of First Nations people. One was the idea of the noble savage, which held that Aboriginal people were better than Europeans because they were free of the corrupting influence of European civilization. This view of Aboriginal life by the Dutch-born Canadian landscape painter Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872) is a warm and comfortable portrait of life in the woods, which would have appealed to those who envied First Nations people their freedom from the restraints of the usual Canadian life of that era.

  • What

    The painting's title is Indian Camp Life, and it is a romantic portrayal of a 19th-century First Nations group.

  • Where

    The location is not given, but it is probably in eastern Canada, where the artist did most of his work.

  • When

    Many of the artist's depictions of Aboriginal life were painted in the 1850s.

  • Who

    This may be a portrait of real people, or simply figures drawn from the imagination of the artist. Cornelius Krieghoff is probably the best-loved Canadian painter of the 19th century.