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VERSO
Label, Amon Carter Museum, ZIN 386.61
Label, Chrisie’s, New York

Meat for the Tribe is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné as reference number CR.PC.333.

Rick Stewart, author and Russell historian writes, “The subject of an Indian buffalo hunt was very dear to Russell’s heart; to him it exemplified the romance of the American West in its glory days. During his early years in Montana Russell witnessed the decimation of the once abundant buffalo herds by market hunters. The remnants of the northern herds made their last stand in the Judith Basin, where Russell worked as an open-range cowboy. During his early development as a painter, Russell drew upon the work of earlier artists, especially for historical subjects that he could not have witnessed. He knew the work of Carl Wimar and George Catlin; from them he derived much of the information about Indian buffalo hunts. This dramatic example, likely painted in the mid-1890s, echoes Wimar’s paintings of the subject in its choice of composition. Russell’s version takes place on the high plains of Montana, with recognizable landforms in the distance. Here the mounted warriors are shown hunting the animals with firearms, but in later versions Russell would substitute the older weaponry—bows and arrows or lances—which would suggest an earlier time. In this depiction, a large buffalo bull has turned away from the fleeing herd to perhaps charge the pursuing warrior. Russell was fond of portraying dramatic situations where the tables could be turned at any moment.”

PROVENANCE
The Artist
Sid Willis, The Mint, Great Falls, MT
Private Collection, TX, 1945
[Christie’s, New York, Dec 5, 2005]
Private Collection, NY, 2005

LITERATURE
Souvenir Illustrated Catalog (Great Falls, MT: S.A. (Sid) Willis, n.d.), #7, illustrated

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