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Stalking Buffalo, Arkansas

1846-1848 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 20 x 27 1/4 in. (50.8 x 69.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.599 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

“The buffalo bull often grows to the enormous weight of 2000 pounds, and shakes a long and shaggy black mane, that falls in great profusion and confusion, over his head and shoulders; and oftentimes falling down quite to the ground. The horns are short, but very large, and have but one turn, i.e. they are a simple arch, without the least approach to a spiral form, like those of the common ox, or of the goat species . . . One of the most remarkable characteristics of the buffalo, is the peculiar formation and expression of the eye, the ball of which is very large and white, and the iris jet black. The lids of the eye seem always to be strained quite open, and the ball rolling forward and down; so that a considerable part of the iris is hidden behind the lower lid, while the pure white of the eyeball glares out over it in an arch, in the shape of a moon at the end of its first quarter.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 31, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Animal - buffalo

Figure group - male

Landscape - Arkansas

Occupation - hunter

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added