This watercolor rendering of a Sioux man conforms to a formula Miller often used for his studio portraits of Indians—the subject is depicted in half-length against a nondescript backdrop, his face and shoulders are treated with the greatest detail, and the most unique aspects of his appearance are emphasized. Years removed from his western adventure, Miller likely worked from a field sketch and his memory to create this larger, more polished portrait.
Unlike many of his Indian portraits, however, this male sitter is shown in pure profile; Miller most commonly painted his subjects in full or three-quarters view. The artist may have elected to depict this Sioux man in profile to showcase his distinctive hairstyle which Miller described as, “a tuft of hair terminating in a long que, ornamented with flat plates and rings made of brass, from the size of a dollar to that of a dime.” (Ross, 23)
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift