FREDERIC REMINGTON, American (1861-1909)
Frederic Remington is best known for his iconic views of the American cowboy. Born and reared in upstate New York, He studied art briefly at Yale University but his studies were cut short when his father died in 1879.
Remington traveled west as a young man at the age of nineteen. He got to experience first-hand a place that he had romanticized in his youth. One of his earliest efforts was a quick sketch on wrapping paper that he sent into Harpers Weekly magazine to see if they had interest in the subject. Cow Boys of Arizona, Roused by a Scout was published (with credit given to W.A. Rogers) appearing in print February 25, 1882. Eastern audiences were indeed interested in first hand views of western life, cowboys, soldiers, horses and Indian, and Remington's course was set.
Although he lived and kept a studio in New York, Remington traveled often collecting authentic bits of western props, such as saddles, clothing, tack, to bring back east to his studio in New Rochelle, which he used them to bring authenticity to his work. He also made great use of the camera to create a photo archive of western detail. Remington was a master of complex and dynamic composition, and was one of the first American artists to accurately depict a horse's gait. Combining information from his photo archive, his riding experience and his visual memory, Remington's galloping horses became a defining signature of his work. He also experimented with color in his paintings. His nocturnal scenes, (The Bell Mare and Argument with the Marshall) which used a cool monochrome scheme contrasting greatly with his experiments using a more modern bright palette.
By the 1890s, Remington was a well-known artist with famous acquaintances, such as William Randolph Hearst and Theodore Roosevelt. A frequent contributor to many of the great publications of the day, he produced vivid images that inspired the public and shaped the way American's viewed the west.
Frederic Remington died at only 48 years of age, a victim of peritonitis after an emergency appendectomy. Remington remains best known for his images of western people, Native Americans, soldiers, frontiersmen and cowboys.