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View on the Upper Mississippi, Beautiful Prairie Bluffs

1835-1836 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 5/8 in. (49.8 x 70.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.312 Not currently on view


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George Catlin probably sketched most of the Upper Mississippi River landscapes on his canoe trip from the Falls of St. Anthony to Dubuque in 1835. He mentions frequently that he used pencil and paper to record certain views, and a sketchbook now owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum must have been one that he was carrying at the time. Several consecutive pages of pencil drawings in the SAAM sketchbook are of towns, forts, and scenery observed along the river that reappear, in somewhat modified form, in Upper Mississippi paintings. (Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)

Keywords

Landscape - river - Mississippi River

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added