Items (Remington, Frederic) (C)
Having achieved notable success and the financial security that attended it, in 1899 Remington bought a small island on the St. Lawrence River near Ogdensburg, New York in order to build a summer home. He remodeled a small cottage on the island, naming it Ingleneuk, and spent time there painting, writing, and enjoying favorite sports like canoeing, fishing, and swimming. By this time, he had also become friendly with leading American Impressionist Childe Hassam and was searching for new directions in his own art. Aware that critics sometimes faulted his handling of color, he decided to start his new approach...
In addition to illustrating stories and articles by other authors, Remington frequently wrote and illustrated his own articles and stories. This is one of two illustrations done for his short story, "A Failure of Justice". The tale concerns Captain Halleran of the Dragoons who witnesses a near triple murder in a combination restaurant-saloon-hotel in the town of Alkali Flat. The quote that names the piece is taken from his description of the captain, which goes on to state: "What sweat and alkali dust won't do to a uniform, sleeping on the ground in it for a month or two will...
Remington made frequent trips to both Mexico and Canada. In this instance, he had traveled to Mexico to gather research for illustrations in an article on the Mexican army by Thomas Janvier. Always fascinated by military uniforms, he prided himself on careful observation and meticulous accuracy in his depiction of them, a pride that sometimes led to uncomfortable altercations with other artists, like the one he initiated with rival Charles Schreyvogel over the latter's portrayal of Custer. Occasioning no such conflict, this Mexican trooper was one of Remingtons early pieces, appearing in the November, 1889 issue of Harper's Monthly.
This particular bronze is a variant on Remington's original model of The Cheyenne produced in 1901. Remington set out to create an accurate portrait of a Cheyenne warrior, and created an incredible feat of sculptural engineering; the running horse has all four feet off the ground and is supported only by a trailing buffalo robe and clump of grass. Nevertheless, after the first castings of the piece, he felt the shield was awkwardly high and lowered it to the riders waist. He made other minor changes, including the position of the breechcloth over the flanks of the horse and changing...