"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

George Catlin

This 1849 portrait of George Catlin by William Fisk Hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"For six years beginning in 1830, George Catlin traveled the American plains to paint portraits of Indian leaders and make sketches of tribal life. The pictorial record of his travels numbers around five hundred paintings and constitutes a remarkable archive of the American Indian. Hoping that his collection would become the nucleus of a national museum, the artist exhibited his paintings in many eastern cities. After Congress proved indifferent, Catlin in 1839 took his Indian gallery to Europe.

British artist William Fisk painted Catlin when his gallery was on exhibition in London. He has shown Catlin with two Blackfoot Indians, The Woman Who Strikes Many and Iron Horn, images based on paintings by Catlin. Debts forced the artist to sell most of his collection in 1852; the largest portion now belongs to the Smithsonian Institution." -- National Portrait Gallery
Woman Who Strikes Many & Iron Horn

Iron Horn

Woman Who Strikes Many

Here's Catlin's 1832 picture of Iron Horn (Mix-ke-móte-skin-na),

and here's Woman Who Strikes Many (Ah'-kay-ee-pix-en) also from 1832.

Catlin's Palette

The illustration below, “The Author Painting a Chief at the Base of the Rocky Mountains,” is the frontispiece of Catlin's, posthumously published, 1876 book Illustrations of the Manners Customs & Condition of the North American Indians.

The Author Painting a Chief at the Base of the Rocky Mountains

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