View on the Missouri, Alluvial Banks Falling in, 600 Miles above St. Louis
Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796
Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872
oil on canvas 11 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (28.5 x 36.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 2B
Luce Center Label
George Catlin painted views of the Missouri River during the spring floods, and this image suggests that the ground he stood on was threatened by rising waters. He wrote that the river was “filled with snags and rafts, formed of trees of the largest size” and that such conditions made for a “most frightful and discouraging prospect for the adventurous voyageur.” Catlin had a sense of humor, and called the Missouri his “River of Sticks, ” playing on the mythological river Styx that leads to the underworld. (Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 3, 1841; reprint 1973)
Landscape - river - Missouri River
paint - oil
fabric - canvas
metal - aluminum - support added
About George Catlin
Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872
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