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Grizzly Bears Attacking Indians on Horseback

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. 1985.66.418 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. This work was painted in the artist's studio during the winter of 1832-33.

Keywords

Animal - bear

Animal - horse

Ethnic - Indian

Figure(s) in exterior - frontier

Occupation - hunter

State of being - evil - danger

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added