Comanche Indians Chasing Buffalo with Lances and Bows

Media - 1985.66.564 - SAAM-1985.66.564_1 - 9259
Copied George Catlin, Comanche Indians Chasing Buffalo with Lances and Bows, 1846-1848, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.564
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
Comanche Indians Chasing Buffalo with Lances and Bows
Date
1846-1848
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
19 5827 12 in. (49.770.0 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation — hunter
  • Animal — horse
  • Figure group — male
  • Animal — buffalo
Object Number
1985.66.564

Artwork Description

George Catlin enjoyed and documented buffalo hunts with various tribes, describing methods such as the exhilarating but dangerous chase on horseback, the surround, and the ambush, in which hunters crept among the unsuspecting herds disguised under the skin of a white wolf for a close and easy shot. During the 1830s, many Indians still used the ambush, but the acquisition of the horse centuries before had transformed their hunting methods. The tribes could now hunt with less danger to themselves as well as greater hope of success. Catlin considered the Comanche the best of all the Plains horsemen.