This watercolor is roughly the same size as the version of the subject painted for Stewart, and the two watercolors share almost the same composition, including the detail of Antoine’s mount peeking out from below the neck of Stewart’s horse. Miller first inscribed the lengthy title (which has the same meaning, but different wording than the title of Stewart’s sketch) at the lower left, but blotted it out and re-inscribed it at the upper left, as in the Stewart version. The delicate pencil sketch of foliage in the tree flanking the left edge of the page is akin stylistically to the delicate pencil lines in many of the Stewart sketches. All of these characteristics suggest that this sketch may have been done soon after the Stewart version, perhaps so Miller could carry a copy of it back to Baltimore.
However, other aspects of the sketch relate it closely to the watercolor Miller painted for Walters twenty years later. Although the top third is rendered only in pencil, with no watercolor or wash, the bottom portion is painted with brightly colored, sometimes opaque, watercolor as in the Walters sketches. Moreover, the sketch is inscribed at the upper left with ‘135,’ a numeral which corresponds with the rough draft of the notes to the Walters sketches. It may be that Miller brought this sketch back with him from Murthly and re-worked it later in preparation for a version for the Walters commission.
Emily C. Wilson
The artist; Thomas Gilcrease, Tulsa, OK; present owner