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In the Wake of a Cree Hunting Party is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné as reference number CR.PC.130.

According to Russell historian Brian Dippie, “This large watercolor is as fine as anything Russell painted in the mid 1890s. Only two years earlier he had quit the range to become a full-time artist, and this work is as fresh as a summer breeze off the mountains. It is at once delicate and vibrant in its coloring—did Russell ever paint a horse and rider more gorgeously caparisoned? The figures are robustly modeled and the entire scene is confidently executed. With a strong diagonal created by the downhill procession, its perspective is interestingly varied by the dogs rummaging ahead, sniffing in the grass and brush, and enlivening the foreground.

“As he often did in his studies of a camp on the move, Russell in In the Wake of a Cree Hunting Party nicely underlines the theme of family by echoing the bond between the Indian mother and her infant and the mare and its colt. This was Russell’s romantic period. He was only a year away from marrying Nancy and settling down for good, and Indian domestic scenes were finding a new primacy in his art: camp routine, women fetching water, courtship, family life inside the tipi, and always the village a portable city made of buffalo hides, being dragged on travois behind women’s ponies.

“Russell returned to the theme of women trailing the buffalo hunters repeatedly throughout his career. He painted Wanderers of the Plains about 1894, and Women of America thirty years later. His 1911 oil, In the Wake of the Buffalo Runners, is considered a masterpiece. In the Wake of a Cree Hunting Party stands up well in such company.”

PROVENANCE:
R. E. Peters, Phoenix, Arizona
Kennedy Galleries, New York, New York, 1974
The Estate of Joseph T. and Florence O’Connor, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1975
Private Collection, Wyoming, 2001

LITERATURE:
The Kennedy Quarterly (New York, NY: Kennedy Galleries, June 1974), page 98, #82
Brian W. Dippie, Looking at Russell (Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum, 1987), page 65

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