The title of this watercolor indicates that the pictured hunt occurred near the mouth of the Sweetwater River and Independence Rock. Miller wrote that “in the extreme distance, the lofty peaks of the Sweet Water Mountains close in the scene.” It compositionally echoes two similar scenes said to depict buffalo hunts in the Black Hills south of the North Platte River (CR#s 357 and 357A). Miller seemed to favor the creation of stage-like settings where the activity is curtained by massive rock formations with a backdrop of dramatic mountains to complete the arrangement.
One of the mounted figures at center left is, according to Miller, “provoking and tantalizing” his prey “by feints.” The hunter is preforming the equivalent of counting coups. “He does not precisely wish to lose his life, but merely to see how closely he can go without doing so.” (Ross, 105)
Peter H. Hassrick
Signed LR: AJMiller. LR: 102[?]
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift