This watercolor is very close in composition to Visit to the Lodge of an Indian Chief (CR# 189A) painted for Stewart. The images are almost the same point for point in terms of what they include. The few exceptions are Miller’s replacement of a bag behind the central female figure with a saddle and the shorter pipe smoked by the Indian figure in the background.
It is likely that this sketch was a copy of the one Miller left behind in Stewart’s album at Murthly Castle. Miller spent close to two years painting what he knew to be highly original subjects for his Scottish patron, and he surely understood the importance of preparing copies that he could use as the basis for future paintings for his Baltimore clientele. Indeed, Shoshone Mother and Child subsequently became the basis for a finished watercolor for William T. Walters (CR# 189B), as well as a small watercolor sketch that remained in the artist’s studio.
LC: Shoshonee [sic] Mother & Children
The artist; The Porter Collection; Mae Reed Porter, Kansas City, MO; [M. Knoedler and Co., New York, NY]; InterNorth Art Foundation, Omaha, NE; present owner