Fine Art Tuesday

A Dash for the Timber, Federic Remington, 1889

Frederic Remington was New Yorker of French Basque descent whose art celebrates the beauty and ethos of the Old West. One might say he had a large hand in creating our Western Mythology.

First, only in America can something like this story occur. Second, societies need their myths-they bind us together.

Remington was also a cousin to Eliphalet Remington of firearms fame, as well as mountain men Jedediah Smith, Jonathan T. Warner and Robert “Doc” Newell. He was also related to George Washington. I have to wonder how family stories may have influenced him and his path through life.

Having attended only a single year of formal art school, Remington made his way west in 1881, just in time to see the height of the cowboy era and western expansion. He witnessed the end of the buffalo, the end of the open range and the coming of “civilization”.

His sketches, painting and sculptures glorified the people and animals of the West rather than the vast landscapes. This was a departure from most Western art of his time. Stylistically, he ignored to then-current Hudson River School and worked in a naturalistic and somewhat impressionistic manner.

Later in his career, Remington was a reporter for William Randolph Hearst, covering the Spanish-American war. 

Remington died in 1909 from complications following an after an emergency appendectomy.

Note: Fine Art Tuesday was started by Eaton Rapids Joe in memory of Ol’ Remus, late proprietor of  the Woodpile Report. If you’re a blogger and are so moved, please feel free to join us with your own Fine Art Tuesday post. As I demonstrate, you don’t have to know much about art to play.

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