Weapons and Physiognomy of the Grizzly Bear

  • George Catlin, Weapons and Physiognomy of the Grizzly Bear, 1846-1848, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.563B

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The prairies of the 1830s were a paradise for animal predators as well as enthusiastic huntsmen. Eagles, wolves, mountain lions, and grizzly bears were among the beasts hunting the abundant antelope, elk, and buffalo. George Catlin described many encounters between predators and prey, but could only make quick sketches of these incidents as they unfolded, in hopes of capturing the excitement in more finished studio works. Catlin disapproved of white settlers’ encroaching on Indian lands, yet he continued to describe and paint scenes that were calculated to appeal to Euro-American sportsmen, enticing them westward for the thrilling hunts he described.

Title
Weapons and Physiognomy of the Grizzly Bear
Artist
Date
1846-1848
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. (49.7 x 70.0 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bear
Object Number
1985.66.563B
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI