Buffalo Bulls Fighting in Running Season, Upper Missouri

  • George Catlin, Buffalo Bulls Fighting in Running Season, Upper Missouri, 1837-1839, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.424

Luce Center Label

“The ‘running season,’ which is in August and September, is the time when [the buffalo] congregate into such masses in some places, as literally to blacken the prairies for miles together. It is no uncommon thing at this season, at these gatherings, to see several thousands in a mass, eddying and wheeling about under a cloud of dust, which is raised by the bulls as they are pawing in the dirt, or engaged in desperate combats, as they constantly are, plunging and butting at each other in the most furious manner. In these scenes, the males are continually following the females, and the whole mass are in constant motion; and all bellowing (or ‘roaring’) in deep and hollow sounds; which, mingled altogether, appear, at the distance of a mile or two, like the sound of distant thunder.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 31, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Buffalo Bulls Fighting in Running Season, Upper Missouri
Artist
Date
1837-1839
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
24 x 29 in. (60.9 x 73.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Western
  • Landscape – river – Missouri River
  • Animal – buffalo
  • Landscape – United States
Object Number
1985.66.424
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI