Crow Indian on the Lookout
Crow Indian on the Lookout was the most popular of Miller’s compositions. It originated as a sketch for Sir William Drummond Stewart (CR# 396) that Miller later worked up into an oil painting for him (CR# 396A). Miller then reversed the orientation of the Indian rider so that he faces out across the prairie, rather than toward the viewer, and painted at least nine more versions of that variation. These include five oil on canvas paintings, each of which sold to Baltimore patrons, a sixth oil that remained in his studio following his death, two watercolors for Walters and Brown respectively, and this watercolor study, the basis for the Walters and Brown watercolors.
Bearing the number 59, which links it to a number inscribed on the Walters watercolor, as well as the note number in Rough Draughts for Notes to Indian Sketches, the sketch includes Miller’s reminder to himself to lengthen the body of the Indian figure.
Sketched with delicate pen lines and thinly-applied wash, the sketch resembles the style of the watercolors made for Stewart. However, the heavy fringing of the Indian’s hunting shirt, along with the thick mane and long flowing hair on the tail of the horse, are characteristic of Miller’s style in the late fifties, when he completed the Walters commission. Compared to the final versions made for Walters and Brown, Miller has lengthened the figure’s body slightly by tilting him backwards to extend his thigh and torso.
UL: 59. LL: Crow Indian/on the Look out. LC: Indian longer in body
The artist; by descent to Mrs. Laurence R. Carton; [M. Knoedler and Co., New York, NY, 1965]; InterNorth Art Foundation, Omaha, NE; present owner