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Item #27495 Buffalo Hunt, Chase. George CATLIN.
Buffalo Hunt, Chase

CATLIN, George (1796-1872)

Buffalo Hunt, Chase

[Pl. 7] London: Chatto & Windus, [circa 1875]. Hand-coloured lithograph mounted on card within ink-ruled frame. Image size: 11 3/8 x 17 5/16 inches. Card size: 17 1/2 x 21 11/16 inches.

A dynamic hunting scene from Catlin's 'North American Indian Portfolio', one of the most important accounts of Indigenous American life.

Catlin describes this plate as representing "a number of the accidents of the chase, with all of which the sportsman in that country will soon become acquainted. There is also seen here another variety of the 'rolling' prairie; and the effect of the Indian's deadly weapons forcibly displayed." Catlin, expressing his admiration for the effectiveness of the bow and arrow in the hands of a skilful hunter, writes, "the bow is a far more efficient weapon than the best firearm that could be produced...I know, from experience, that the buffalo will often lead us a long and fruitless chase with two or three ounce bullets through its body, when, if pointed with an Indian's arrow, it would stand and submit to a second through its heart, bringing it to the ground" (Catlin). Catlin summarized the Indigenous peoples he encountered as "an honest, hospitable, faithful, brave, warlike, cruel, revengeful, relentless, - yet honourable, contemplative and religious beings." In a famous passage from the preface of his North American Indian Portfolio, Catlin describes how the sight of several tribal chiefs in Philadelphia led to his resolution to record their way of life. "The history and customs of such a people, preserved by pictorial illustrations, are themes worthy of the lifetime of one man, and nothing short of the loss of my life shall prevent me from visiting their country and becoming their historian." From 1832 to 1837, Catlin spent the summer months sketching the tribes and then finished his pictures in oils during the winter. The record he left is unique, both in its breadth and in the sympathetic understanding that his images constantly demonstrate. A selection of the greatest of images from this record were published in the North American Indian Portfolio in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible. The present image is one of the results of this publishing venture and is both a work of art of the highest quality and a fitting memorial to a vanished way of life.

Abbey,Travel 653; Field, Indian Bibliography 258; Howes C-243; McCracken 10; Sabin 11532; Wagner-Camp 105a:1.

Item #27495

Price: $4,250.00

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