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Comanche Warrior Lancing an Osage, at Full Speed

1837-1839 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. (49.7 x 70.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.471 Not currently on view


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George Catlin’s descriptions of Native Americans reveal his respect for the tribes and nations that he feared would soon vanish. “Every one of these red sons of the forest (or rather of the prairie) is a knight and lord,” he wrote, the only things which he deems worthy of his exertions are to mount his snorting steed, with his bow and quiver slung, his arrow-shield upon his arm, and his long lance glistening in the war-parade . . .” (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 1, no. 4, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed , 1979)

Keywords

Animal - horse

Ethnic - Indian - Comanche

Ethnic - Indian - Osage

Figure(s) in exterior - frontier

State of being - evil - war

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added