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Bread, Chief of the Tribe

1831 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 21 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (53.9 x 42.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.270 Not currently on view


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George Catlin probably painted this image of the Oneida chief Bread in Washington, D.C. in 1831. The artist found his subject to be “a shrewd and talented man, well educated---speaking good English---[he] is handsome, and a polite and gentlemanly man in his deportment.” Catlin also described Bread as “half-blood.” The artist apparently devoted some time to painting Bread, as the portrait is one of the most perceptive and carefully finished of the period. (Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Oneida

Portrait male - Bread

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added