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

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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)

Title
Cháh-ee-chópes, Four Wolves, a Chief in Mourning
Artist
Date
1832
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Four Wolves – bust
  • State of being – emotion – sorrow
  • Portrait male – Four Wolves
  • Ethnic – Indian – Crow
Object Number
1985.66.162
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI