Montmorency Falls in Winter, Quebec

Montmorency Falls 2490 Ave Royale Québec, QC G1C 1S1 Canada
Oil on canvas
91.6 x 121.9 cm
The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario
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Self-taught and prolific, Cornelius Krieghoff traveled extensively across Quebec to create some of the most popular, enduring images of the region, often producing print and photo reproductions of his paintings in response to popular demand. Krieghoff was especially skilled at painting winter scenes, and in Montmorency Falls, he captured a classic scene of icy recreation. Montmorency Falls became a popular location for winter tourism and activity in the late 1700s. The Falls, which froze during winter, formed a distinctive “ice cone” that served as both a landmark and site of play, as steps were carved into the cone allowing visitors to climb to the top and toboggan down the other side. Souvenir images of the wintry Falls, especially reproductions of this painting, served to solidify idealized images of Quebec lifestyle and recreation in the 1800s.