Prairie Meadows Burning

  • George Catlin, Prairie Meadows Burning, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.374

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George Catlin painted ominous, swirling clouds of black smoke that loom out of the distance and drive the Indians before them. The artist was an eyewitness to such terrifying events, and described the fire’s “thunder rumbling as it goes.” But he also wrote that prairie fires made for “some of the most beautiful scenes that are to be witnessed in this country, and also some of the most sublime.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 33, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Prairie Meadows Burning
Artist
Date
1832
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
11 x 14 1/8 in. (27.8 x 35.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian
  • Animal – horse
  • Figure group – male
  • Disaster – fire
  • Landscape – plain
Object Number
1985.66.374
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI