Indians chasing wild horses and buffaloes was a favorite theme of early artists such as George Catlin and Karl Bodmer, who were among the first artists to document the lives of various Plains Indians. Probably without the opportunity to see their work, Miller added his own sketches to the growing interpretations of both the Indians and “these beautiful animals” for his appreciative audience, first, Captain William Drummond Stewart, then, patrons in his home town of Baltimore.
Smithsonian ethnologist John Ewers complained that “Miller’s oil paintings…appear labored and lifeless when compared with his fresh, vigorous, rapid field sketches of the same subjects in watercolor or sepia,” but that is not as true of this large painting, in which Miller was able to maintain some of the frenzy of the horse and rider that are present in his earlier sketches. (Ewers, 1973, p. 115)
LL: A. J. Miller
The artist; [?]; [Edward Eberstadt and Sons, New York, NY]; H.J. Lutcher Stark, Orange, TX, 1959; present owner: Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, Orange, Texas, by bequest, 1965, accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art, 1978