La-dóo-ke-a, Buffalo Bull, a Grand Pawnee Warrior

  • George Catlin, La-dóo-ke-a, Buffalo Bull, a Grand Pawnee Warrior, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.100

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Described by George Catlin “as a warrior of great distinction,” Buffalo Bull appears “with his medicine or totem (the head of a buffalo) painted on his breast and his face, with bow and arrow in his hands.” This unfinished portrait provides a key to Catlin’s working methods in the West, where he had to work quickly. During Buffalo Bull’s sitting, Catlin focused on his face and his totem (the buffalo head painted on his chest, partially hidden behind a large peace medal). The artist usually finished bodies and costume details in an urban studio. (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 2, no. 34, 1841, reprint 1973; Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery , 2002)

La-dóo-ke-a, Buffalo Bull, a Grand Pawnee Warrior
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 – Buffalo Bull – full length
  • Object – weapon – bow and arrow
  • Dress – accessory – jewelry
  • Ethnic – Indian – Pawnee
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI