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Hee-láh-dee, Pure Fountain, Wife of The Smoke

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.96 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

George Catlin described Pure Fountain as a “young and very pretty woman . . . her neck and arms were curiously tattooed, which is a very frequent mode of ornamenting the body amongst this and some other tribes . . . done by pricking into the skin, gunpowder and vermilion.” He painted Pure Fountain at a Ponca village in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 1, no. 26, 1841; reprint 1973)


Ethnic - Indian - Ponca

Portrait female - Pure Fountain


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added