Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Studies of Indian Chiefs Made at Fort Laramie

Artist:
Albert Bierstadt (American, Solingen 1830–1902 New York)
Date:
ca. 1859
Geography:
Made in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, United States
Medium:
Oil and graphite on paper
Dimensions:
13 x 16 7/8 in. (33 x 42.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Adrienne Arsht, Stainman Family Foundation Inc., and Charles and Jane Klein Family Fund Gifts, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 760
Bierstadt arrived at Fort Laramie, in present-day Wyoming, as a member of the expedition to the western portion of the Nebraska Territory with Colonel Frederic W. Lander in June 1859, during a time of tense relations between the Western Sioux (Teton) and the United States government. Bierstadt made vivid field sketches of the Indians he encountered there, including this powerful depiction of the heads of four chiefs. The artist intently observed and recorded the costume and physiognomy of each man, inscribing each one’s name below his head. In the foreground of the major painting that resulted from this trip, "The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak" (07.123), several of the male figures at the lower right may have been inspired by the present study.
Signature: Signed and inscribed (at mid left): ABierstadt; inscribed (under each corresponding head): Bad Heart / Du..y [illeg.] Eachni / Big mouth / Nah ke a hata / Margo; (on verso): Studies of Indian Chiefs Made at Fort Laramie / Albert Bierstadt N. A. (on the back of paper, before mounting): Study of Indians / Fort Laramie

Inscription: Signed and inscribed (at mid left): ABierstadt; inscribed (under each corresponding head): Bad Heart / Du..y [illeg.] Eachni / Big mouth / Nah ke a hata / Margo; (on verso): Studies of Indian Chiefs Made at Fort Laramie / Albert Bierstadt N. A. (on the back of paper, before mounting): Study of Indians / Fort Laramiet
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