Butte de Mort, Sioux Burial Ground, Upper Missouri

  • George Catlin, Butte de Mort, Sioux Burial Ground, Upper Missouri, 1837-1839, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.475

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George Catlin probably sketched this image on his Missouri River voyage in 1832, but did not produce a finished painting for several years. In his 1848 Catalogue, Catlin noted that the French called this Sioux burial ground Butte de Mort, or “Hill of Death,” and that the Indians regarded the site “with great dread and superstition. There are several thousand buffalo and human skulls, perfectly bleached and curiously arranged about it.” (Catlin, 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)

Title
Butte de Mort, Sioux Burial Ground, Upper Missouri
Artist
Date
1837-1839
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
20 x 27 3/8 in. (50.9 x 69.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group – male
  • Western
  • Landscape – United States – Butte De Mort
  • Ethnic – Indian – Teton Sioux
  • Landscape – river – Missouri River
  • Landscape – cemetery
  • Animal – horse
Object Number
1985.66.475
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI