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Antelope Shooting, Decoyed Up

1832-1833 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 5/8 in. (49.7 x 70.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.419 Not currently on view


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“This little animal seems to be endowed, like many other gentle and sweet-breathing creatures, with an undue share of curiosity, which often leads them to destruction; and the hunter who wishes to entrap them, saves himself the trouble of travelling after them. When he has been discovered, he has only to elevate above the tops of the grass his red or yellow handkerchief on the end of his gun-rod, which he sticks in the ground, and to which they are sure to advance, though with great coyness and caution; whilst he lies close, at a little distance, with his rifle in hand; when it is quite an easy matter to make sure of two or three at a shot, which he gets in range of his eye, to be pierced with one bullet.” George Catlin made this sketch in 1832 on his Missouri River voyage. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 10, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Animal - antelope

Ethnic - Indian

Figure(s) in exterior - frontier

Landscape - plain

Occupation - hunter

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added