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Portraits of Two Grizzly Bears, From Life

1839-1840 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 20 x 27 3/8 in. (50.8 x 69.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.386,502 Not currently on view

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The prairies of the 1830s were a paradise for animal predators as well as enthusiastic huntsmen. Eagles, wolves, mountain lions, and grizzly bears were among the beasts hunting the abundant antelope, elk, and buffalo. George Catlin described many encounters between predators and prey, but could only make quick sketches of these incidents as they unfolded, in hopes of capturing the excitement in more finished studio works.


Animal - bear


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added