Mah-tó-che-ga, Little Bear, a Hunkpapa Brave

  • George Catlin, Mah-tó-che-ga, Little Bear, a Hunkpapa Brave, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.84

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George Catlin painted Little Bear at Fort Pierre, on the west bank of the Missouri near what is now known as the Bad River. While the artist worked on this portrait, the Dog, a chief of the Bad Arrow Points Band, noticed that Catlin only showed a three-quarter view of his subject and commented that Little Bear was “but half a man.” The Indians began to argue and after Catlin completed the portrait, the Dog followed Little Bear home, where the two men fought and Little Bear was killed. (Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, 2002)

Title
Mah-tó-che-ga, Little Bear, a Hunkpapa Brave
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
  • Object – weapon – axe
  • Portrait male – Little Bear – bust
  • Ethnic – Indian – Hunkpapa
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
Object Number
1985.66.84
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI