Miller’s paintings of Indian woman bear the influence of French romantic painter Eugène Delacroix in the selection of sensual and exotic scenes. Paintings such as Female Indians’ Toilet (CR# 473A), Giving Drink to a Thirsty Trapper (CR# 459A), and Waiting for Caravan, which shows a group of Indian women lounging under a tree awaiting the fur traders’ caravan, all present provocative views of beautiful Indian women supposedly living outside the social and sexual mores of Victorian America. French romantic paintings likewise focused on women from North Africa who were sensational to a European audience.
The style in which Miller’s sketches are rendered also owes much to French romanticism. Both Miller and Delacroix make use of sinuous curves and strong diagonals, present in this image in the tree at the right, and in the light green pathway that extends in front of the women and out across the plain toward the caravan. As in Delacroix’s Women of Algiers (1834), Miller’s image also includes touches of scarlet red to add richness.
UL: Waiting for the Caravan
The artist; Alfred J. Miller, Jr., Baltimore, MD; [M. Knoedler and Company, New York, NY]; Thomas Gilcrease, Tulsa, OK; present owner