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Item #41612 The Snow-Shoe Dance. George CATLIN.

CATLIN, George (1796-1872)

The Snow-Shoe Dance

[Pl. 14] London: C. & J. Adlard for George Catlin, Egyptian Hall, 1844. Hand-coloured lithograph, on thick paper, after Catlin, drawn on stone by McGahey, printed by Day & Haghe. Small paper losses at lower corners. Image size: 12 1/8 x 17 7/8 inches. Sheet size: 16 9/16 x 22 15/16 inches.

A dynamic scene of the Snow-Shoe Dance from the First Edition of Catlin's 'North American Indian Portfolio', one of the most important accounts of Indigenous American life.

"This picturesque scene is called by [the Indigenous people] the "Snow-Shoe Dance," Catlin explains, "as it is danced with the snow-shoes on their feet, around an ornamented pair of the same, which are elevated, with the appropriate flags and spears of the band." 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.

Bennett 22; McCracken 10A; Reese American Color Plate Books 25; Sabin 11532 note; Wagner-Camp 105a: 3.

Item #41612

Price: $3,750.00

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