Formerly attributed to Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)
Watercolor, black chalk, gum arabic, and gouache on white laid paper
9 1/4 x 7 in. (23.5 x 17.8 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1942
Not on view
In 1809 Krimmel immigrated to Philadelphia, where he trained as an artist. In 1812 he was commissioned by Pavel Petrovich Svinin to create fourteen watercolors for Svinin’s travel account "A Picturesque Voyage in North America" (1815). An engraving after this watercolor prefaces the chapter on American Indians.
Like Svinin, Krimmel probably never observed any American Indians from life. Many of the likenesses that crowd this composition are borrowed from works by Benjamin West, most notably "The Death of General Wolfe" (1770; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) and "William Penn’s Treaty with the Indians" (1771–72; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts). Krimmel was also inspired by the montage-like format of William Hogarth’s print "Characters and Caricaturas" (1743).