Louis Hennepin (1626-1705)

Think that you may own a portrait of Louis Hennepin? We authenticate, appraise and issue Certificates of Authenticity (COA) for all portraits of Louis Hennepin.

Father Louis Hennepin, baptized Antoine, was a Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollect order (French: Récollets) and an explorer of the interior of North America.

 Portrait of Louis Hennepin, date and place unknown
Portrait of Louis Hennepin, date and place unknown

Hennepin was born in Ath, province of Hainaut, Belgium, but became French in 1659, when Béthune, the town where he lived, was captured by the army of Louis XIV of France.

At the request of Louis XIV the Récollets sent four missionaries to New France in May 1675, including Hennepin, accompanied by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. In 1678 Hennepin was ordered by his provincial superior to accompany La Salle on a voyage to explore the western part of New France.

Two great waterfalls were brought to the world's attention by Louis Hennepin: Niagara Falls, with the most voluminous flow of any in North America, and the Saint Anthony Falls in what is now Minneapolis, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River.

There is only one known portrait of Louis Hennepin and it is said that it was reproduced from another painting. It hardly seems that a religious man who discovered perhaps one of the most famous waterfalls in the world would have not had more portraits, or at the very least sketches made of his likeness. Only time will tell if these will surface.

 Father Hennepin Discovering St. Anthony's Falls
Father Hennepin Discovering St. Anthony's Falls

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