Charles Marion Russell

Charles Marion Russell


Nationality: American

Largely self-taught, Charles Russell is recognized as one of the primary artists who crafted the iconography of the American west. He not only depicted the contemporary west he witnessed, but he also depicted nostalgic images of the “west that has passed.” His works helped to cultivate the western myth and romanticized the icons of the American frontier: the cowboy, the buffalo, and the Indian. Through his paintings, Russell reveals an empathy for the plight of the Native American tribes which was extraordinarily progressive at the time, having previously not been a popular element of nineteenth century art.

Russell settled in the Montana territory in 1880, where he first worked for the Judith Roundup and then settled in as a night wrangler for the Niedringhaus Ranch. The famous N Bar N brand of the Niedringhaus family appears in several of his early paintings, such as the luminous watercolor Kickover of Morning Coffee Pot (1896). This allowed him to sketch during the day while learning the cowboy life at night. Unlike his contemporaries, Russell’s firsthand knowledge of a working ranch gave his paintings a level of detail that was historically accurate, earning him the nickname “The Cowboy Artist.” His body of work set the precedent for future generations of western artists.

Russell’s impressive natural artistic talent was enhanced by the business acumen of his manager/wife, Nancy. She oversaw all aspects of her husband’s career in an era where women typically only managed the household. It is Nancy who is credited by many scholars as being the driving force and guiding hand behind Russell’s successful career.


Charles Marion Russell Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (American, 1864-1926) Kickover of Morning Coffee Pot, 1896 Watercolor on paper 19 x 28 inches
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (American, 1864-1926)Kickover of Morning Coffee Pot, 1896Watercolor on paper19 x 28 inches ...
Lot 76020
Auction 5116
Saturday, November 10, 2012
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (American, 1864-1926) Indian on Horseback, 1900 Watercolor and gouache on buff paper 14 x 11 i
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (American, 1864-1926)Indian on Horseback, 1900Watercolor and gouache on buff paper14 x 11 i...
Lot 70018
Auction 5148
Thursday, November 14, 2013
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (American 1864-1926) Nancy Cooper Russell's Wedding Ring, circa 1896 24K Gold Approximately ri
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (American 1864-1926)Nancy Cooper Russell's Wedding Ring, circa 189624K GoldApproximately ri...
Lot 24031
Auction 652
Friday, May 25, 2007
Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926) To Noses That Read a Smell That Spells Man, modeled 1920, cast 1951 Bronz...
Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)To Noses That Read a Smell That Spells Man, modeled 1920, cast 1951Bronz... (Total: 2 Items)
Lot 69016
Auction 5330
Friday, November 3, 2017
Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926) Steer Head, 1916 Painted plaster 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 4-3/4 inches (11.4 x 11
Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)Steer Head, 1916Painted plaster4-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 4-3/4 inches (11.4 x 11...
Lot 69015
Auction 5330
Friday, November 3, 2017

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