The second extant version of The Trapper’s Bride is closest in composition to the first (CR# 191C) and shares roughly the same dimensions. As with the Eiteljorg’s version, Miller positions his main figures on a picturesque promontory overlooking a broad, green valley with two large tipis behind them. The bride stands before her groom with two Indian men behind her. The trapper is seated, looking up at the bride, with another trapper beside him. Three witnesses, one on horseback, appear to their right, while five more figures gather before the tipis in the background.
In the same spirit as the Eiteljorg version, Miller’s second extant version contrasts the sentimental gaze of the groom with the downcast eyes and reticent pose of the lithe young bride. This tension is heightened by Miller’s rendering of the bride and groom’s hands, which are about to touch and which are highlighted against a light-colored, open space between them. The Indian men behind the bride answer the suspense by pushing the bride toward her groom and thrusting the smoking calumet between them.
This version was painted for Baltimore merchant and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. Hopkins, who had been an early patron of Miller’s work, visited Miller’s studio in February 1846 and saw the version that had recently been purchased by Benjamin Coleman Ward. Hopkins ordered his own version that day, and paid for it at the end of the following year.
The artist; Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD, 1846; Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift