CATLIN, George (1796-1872)
[Pl. 25] [London: Henry Bohn, 1845]. Hand-coloured lithograph, deluxe issue cut to the edge of the image and mounted on card in imitation of an original watercolour, title label mounted beneath the image 'No. 25. / Wi - jun - jon. / an Assineboin chief. / (From Catlin's N.A. Indian Collection.)'. Sheet size: 17 1/2 x 12 1/8 inches.
A fine image from the de luxe issue of Catlin's 'North American Indian Portfolio', one of the most important accounts of native-American life.
Wi-jun-jon, an Assiniboin chief and distinguished member of his tribe, was chosen as delegate to a Washington meeting in 1832. Travelling down the Missouri by boat, he first met Catlin in St. Louis, and his portrait was painted in his exceedingly beautiful native costume. When Catlin next saw Wi-jun-jon, it was upon the Chief's return trip from Washington, where he had exchanged his clothing for a military suit of blue broadcloth with epaulettes. So impressed was Catlin by the transformation that he painted this double portrait showing the Assiniboin chief going to Washington and returning to his home. In the image of Wi-jun-jon on his return trip he is wearing a top hat (where previously he wore a feathered headdress), smokes a cigarette (where previously he held a long pipe), leans on an umbrella and cools himself with a French-style fan.
Cf. Abbey Travel 653; cf. Field Indian Bibliography 258; cf. Howes C-243; cf. McCracken 10; cf. Sabin 11532; cf. Wagner-Camp 105a:1.