Shon-ta-yi-ga, Little Wolf, a Famous Warrior

Media - 1985.66.521 - SAAM-1985.66.521_1 - 9221
Copied George Catlin, Shon-ta-yi-ga, Little Wolf, a Famous Warrior, 1844-1845, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.521
Free to use

Artwork Details

Shon-ta-yi-ga, Little Wolf, a Famous Warrior
Not on view
2924 in. (73.760.9 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male — Little Wolf
  • Indian — Iowa
Object Number

Artwork Description

Between 1844 and 1845, fourteen members of the Iowa tribe joined George Catlin’s tour of London and Paris. In France, their achievements were impressive: the whole party met King Louis Philippe, Catlin installed the Indian Gallery in the Louvre, and he exhibited works in the prestigious Paris Salon. However, Europe held tragedy as well. Several people in Catlin’s entourage died of disease or illness. Shon-ta-yi-ga, an Iowa warrior, experienced heartbreak that paralleled Catlin’s own. Both men lost a wife and a son while on this trip. Catlin’s quest cost him not only personally, but financially, and he was thrown into debtors’ prison in 1852.