This highly-finished oil painting evolved from Miller’s sketch of the half-breed French Canadian Auguste watering his horse while the caravan paused at Fort Laramie (CR# 156). In the sketch, the tents of the camp may be seen in the background, with the mountains further in the distance.
While at Murthly, Miller enlarged his sketch into this 36 x 30-inch composition but changed the title to Antoine Watering Stewart’s Horse, replacing the mustachioed Auguste and his horse shown in the sketch with a clean-shaven Antoine and Stewart’s blooded racing stallion. (Ross, 1968, 10)
The camp scene in the middle distance suggests that this might be a rendezvous scene rather than one near Fort Laramie, where Miller probably sketched Auguste. The unrealistic looking mountains in the background illustrate the difficulty that the inexperienced Miller had in enlarging his small field sketches into easel paintings.
The artist; Sir William Drummond Stewart (1940); Frank Nichols; [Chapman’s Edinburgh, June 16 – 17, 1871]; [Appleby Brothers]; [B.F. Stevens and Brown, London (1937)]; Everett D. Graff, Winnetka, IL (1937); present owner by gift