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The Mourning Brave

ca. 1892 Edwin Willard Deming Born: Ashland, Ohio 1860 Died: New York, New York 1942 oil on canvas 40 x 30 in. (101.5 x 76.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of William T. Evans 1912.9.1 Not currently on view


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Edwin Willard Deming’s paintings romanticized the lives of Native Americans, feeding the myth of a vanishing race of noble savages. In this painting an Indian brave mourns the death of an Indian woman inside a shadowed teepee. With his hands covering his face, he prays over her body, asking the Great Mystery, symbolized by the light that streams from above, to protect her spirit and guide it to the “Happy Western land beyond the Great Waters” (Walsh, ed., Edwin Willard Deming, His Work, 1925).

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian

Figure group

Landscape - time - night

State of being - death

State of being - emotion - sorrow

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Edwin Willard Deming

Born: Ashland, Ohio 1860 Died: New York, New York 1942

More works in the collection by
Edwin Willard Deming