White Wolves Attacking a Buffalo Bull

  • George Catlin, White Wolves Attacking a Buffalo Bull, 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.467

Luce Center Label

“Whilst the herd is together, the wolves never attack them, as they instantly gather for combined resistance, which they effectually make. But when the herds are travelling, it often happens that an aged or wounded one, lingers at a distance behind, and when fairly out of sight of the herd, is set upon by these voracious hunters, which often gather to the number of fifty or more, and are sure at last to torture him to death, and use him up at a meal. The buffalo, however, is a huge and furious animal, and when his retreat is cut off, makes desperate and deadly resistance, contending to the last moment for the right of life---and oftentimes deals death by wholesale, to his canine assailants, which he is tossing into the air or stamping to death under his feet.” George Catlin sketched the wolves on the Upper Missouri in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 31, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
White Wolves Attacking a Buffalo Bull
Artist
Date
1832-1833
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 – buffalo
  • State of being – evil – violence
  • Animal – wolf
Object Number
1985.66.467
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI