Until the beginning of the 20th century, Canadian art was closely associated with European art. Canadian artists were trained in traditional art and techniques that were used by old masters and contemporary artists across the Atlantic. However, this did not hinder the positive response that artists received, seeking to reflect the special character of this vast country and its inhabitants.
Cornelius Krieghoff (1815–1872), originally from Germany, achieved excellence in the landscape genre. He made numerous sketches of the scenic spots of Quebec, especially the snowy landscapes. His style reminded many of the style of the Dutch landscape painters. Krieghoff’s contemporary, Paul Kane, was born in Ireland in 1810. He toured across the prairie and Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean with fur traders. On the way, he drew everything he saw (for example, the last bison hunt). His paintings, quite in the spirit of the times, reflect the life of the West, which was on the verge of change. In the late 19th century, Quebec artists were influenced by the French Impressionists, whose technique was used to depict rural and urban landscapes in eastern Canada. The landscapes of Montreal by Maurice Cullen (1866-934) seem to have had a great influence on the perception of the inhabitants of his city. The same can be said about the landscapes of Quebec by James Wilson Morris (1865-1924).