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The Three Domes, Clay Bluffs 15 Miles above the Mandan Village

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (28.6 x 36.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.394 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

“This is, perhaps, one of the most grand and beautiful scenes of the kind to be met with in this country, owing to the perfect appearance of its several huge domes, turrets, and towers . . . These stupendous works are produced by the continual washing down of the sides of these clay-formed hills; and although, in many instances, their sides, by exposure, have become so hardened, that their change is very slow; yet they are mostly subjected to continual phases, more or less, until ultimately their decomposition ceases, and their sides becoming seeded and covered with a green turf, which protects and holds them (and will hold them) unalterable: with carpets of green, and enamelled with flowers, to be gazed upon with admiration, by the hardy voyageur and the tourist, for ages and centuries to come.” George Catlin sketched this landscape during a voyage on the Missouri River in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 10, 1841; reprint 1973)


Landscape - mountain

Landscape - plain



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added