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Beautiful Clay Bluffs, 1900 Miles above St. Louis

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 11 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (28.5 x 36.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.382 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

“These curious bluffs must be seen as they are in nature; or else in a painting, where their colours are faithfully given, or they lose their picturesque beauty, which consists in the variety of their vivid tints. The strata of clay are alternating from red to yellow---white---brown and dark blue; and so curiously arranged, as to form the most pleasing and singular effects.” George Catlin painted this scene during a voyage along the Missouri River in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 10, 1841; reprint 1973)


Landscape - plain

Landscape - United States



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added