Cháh-ee-chópes, Four Wolves, a Chief in Mourning

  • George Catlin, Cháh-ee-chópes, Four Wolves, a Chief in Mourning, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.162

Luce Center Label

In 1830, Catlin accompanied William Clark, of the celebrated Lewis and Clark expedition, up the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Fort Crawford. Two years later, he began the first of several journeys deep into the western frontier, boarding the steamboat Yellowstone at St. Louis for a two-thousand-mile run up the Missouri River to Fort Union. The fort, an outpost maintained by the American Fur Company, brought Catlin in contact with the Blackfoot and Crow. Among the masterful portraits he made on that journey is this image of the Crow chief Four Wolves. The chief, Catlin later wrote, was “in mourning for a brother; and according to their custom, [he] cut off a number of locks of his long hair, which is as much as a man can well spare of so valued an ornament, which he has been for the greater part of his life cultivating.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 8, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)

Cháh-ee-chópes, Four Wolves, a Chief in Mourning
On View
Not on view.
29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male – Four Wolves – bust
  • State of being – emotion – sorrow
  • Portrait male – Four Wolves
  • Ethnic – Indian – Crow
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI