Stu-mick-o-súcks, Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe

  • George Catlin, Stu-mick-o-súcks, Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.149

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This magnificent portrait was painted at Fort Union “from the free and vivid realities of life” rather than “the haggard deformities and distortions of disease and death” that George Catlin noted among frontier Indians. Buffalo Bull’s Back Fat (named after a prized cut of bison) was a chief of the Blackfoot, a tribe of the northernmost Plains whose territory straddled the present-day border between the United States and Canada. Catlin considered the people of the northern Plains the least corrupted by white contact, and he helped establish their image as nature’s noble people in Europe as well as America. This commanding portrait, for example, was exhibited to favorable notice in the Paris Salon of 1846. (Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, 2002)

Title
Stu-mick-o-súcks, Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe
Artist
Date
1832
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
Highlights
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Stu-mick-o-sucks – waist length
  • Portrait male – Buffalo Bull's Back Fat – bust
  • Ethnic – Indian – Blackfoot
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
  • Recreation – leisure – smoking
  • Object – other – smoking material
Object Number
1985.66.149
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI