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Buffalo Chase over Prairie Bluffs

1832-1833 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 24 x 29 in. (60.9 x 73.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.411 Not currently on view


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“In the chase of the buffalo, or other animal, the Indian generally ‘strips’ himself and his horse, by throwing off his shield and quiver, and every part of his dress, which might be an encumbrance to him in running; grasping his bow in his left hand, with five or six arrows drawn from his quiver, and ready for instant use. In his right hand (or attached to the wrist) is a heavy whip, which he uses without mercy, and forces his horse alongside of his game at the swiftest speed.” George Catlin sketched this work on the Upper Missouri in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 31, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Animal - buffalo

Animal - horse

Ethnic - Indian

Figure(s) in exterior - frontier

Occupation - hunter

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added