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A Facsimilie View of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Circa 1678 – Louis Hennepin

lithograph print on paper | *** painting style

Library & Archives of Canada, R9266-2197


When Father Louis Hennepin saw Niagara Falls he must have fallen back in amazement.

Quickly hoping to capture its magnificence, he drew what would probably have been the first rendering of the Falls by a European.

It’s clear from the figures in this reproduction (based on his original drawing) that all in his party had never seen a sight such as this. Their expressive gestures indicate a wordless awe and humility at nature’s formidable presence in this new land.

The tiny figures on the far shore are mere ants compared to the towering pinnacles of water looming next to them.

These elements combine to give the falls an impressive scale.