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

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Black Knife

This 1846 painting of Black Knife, an Apache Warrior by John Mix Stanley hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.
Black Knife, also known as Baishan, or by his Spanish name, Cuchillo Negro, was a celebrated Apache chief. His raids on Mexico made him a nominal ally of U.S. army battalions sent to the area following the outbreak of the Mexican War (1846--48). The Apache sought to protect their ancestral lands, which had become disputed territories between Mexico and the United States.
In 1845, John Mix Stanley joined Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny's expedition through Santa Fe to California to put down Mexican uprisings. In late October 1846 Kearny's troops encountered Black Knife, here seen scouting the position of the army troops, near what is now the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. In the distance, Stanley portrays the Rio Gila, which runs through Arizona and New Mexico. Stanley based his painting on sketches he had made of the area's geological features and native plants, lending authenticity to his narrative. -- SAAM

No comments:

Post a Comment