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Mandan Scalping an Enemy

1835-1837 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (49.6 x 70.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.498 Not currently on view

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George Catlin described this painting as a tale from the Mandans of “a Conqueror conquered” and noted that it “took place in front of the Mandan village.” Catlin sketched the scene in 1835 and completed the painting in his studio between 1835 and 1857. (Catlin, 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)


Ethnic - Indian - Mandan

Figure group - male

State of being - evil - war


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added