Robert Clow Todd
Canadian (born in England), 1809–1866
Montmorency Falls, Winter, 1845
oil on wood panel
31 x 36.9 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Scottish immigrant Robert Todd set up shop in Quebec City as a carriage and ornamental sign painter in 1833. He is remembered today for his scenes of Montmorency Falls, just downstream from Quebec City, depicted here in winter and summer. For centuries this site was and remains a popular tourist attraction in both winter and summer. In winter the spray from the falls freezes, forming an unusual cone-shaped hill of ice that provides an exciting place for climbing and sledding. Todd made his living selling these paintings as souvenirs of the colonies to British military personnel stationed temporarily in Quebec. His work reflects the leisure and civilized side of colonial life and the recreational exploitation of nature’s wonders by the citizenry.