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    Description

    FREDERIC REMINGTON (American 1861-1909)
    A Mexican Buccaro - In Texas, circa 1890
    Oil on canvas
    21-1/2 x 17-1/2 inches (54.6 x 44.4 cm)
    Signed lower left: Frederic Remington

    Provenance:
    Newhouse Galleries (New York);
    Mr. And Mrs. F. Howard Walsh (Fort Worth, Texas);
    Walsh Family Art Trust (Fort Worth, Texas)

    Literature:
    Harby, Lee C. "Texan Types And Contrasts", Harper's New Monthly Magazine (vol. 81, issue 482, July 1980, p. 241)

    In 1881, Frederic Remington set off for the vast territories of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and veered north to Montana and the Dakotas armed with the goal of recording the people he encountered there as well as a vanishing way of life. His subsequent work as an illustrator for Harper's New Monthly Magazine depended upon this initial trove of highly detailed imagery, and in 1885 he was sent back West by the magazine editors to record Native American conflicts and capture in paint a feeling for life in the southwest. Within a decade, Remington became the dean of Western illustrators, just as the "Wild West" was vanishing forever.

    Painted circa 1890 The Mexican Buccaro - in Texas is an outstanding example of Remington's illustration style, which captured the imagination of the reading public. This painting was featured in the July 1890 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, and accompanied an article entitled "Texan Types and Contrasts" by Lee C. Harby. The text sketched a romanticized portrait of the Mexican life in Texas, and waxed poetic on subjects ranging from spicy and flavorful Mexican foods to the dignified and passionate demeanors of the Mexican people. While Harby acknowledged that numerous nationalities contributed to the colorful tableaux of Texan life, all of Remington's illustrations, by contrast, depict only Mexicans. Remington showed them engaged in a range of activities, which was the primary focus of the article.

    Painted in a richly-detailed grisaille palette intended for black and white reproduction, Remington's Mexican buccaro, or cowboy, illustrated a passage in Harby's text which effused:

    "He is ever a picturesque figure, whether in groups or dismounted and standing alone on the great prairie, watching the train flash past him, broad-hatted and clad in buckskin pants, with many little fringes down their seams. His flannel shirt and short jacket look well upon him, and his Winchester and lariat are slung from the pommel of his saddle. His horse stands as still as a statue, untied and patient, with drooping head, awaiting his master's will." (p.239-240)

    When he painted this Mexican cowboy, Remington was at the height of his illustration career, which served as an important conduit for readers of Harper's New Monthly Magazine to experience vicariously his beloved West in all its waning glory. Only one year earlier, Remington won a silver medal at the Paris International Exposition in 1889, signaling his artistic recognition within the realm of Fine Art as well. This illustration belongs to a significant aspect of the artist's oeuvre--his fascination with the cowboy. Remington's exploration of the cowboy subject played an important role in establishing the cowboy as a symbol synonymous with American culture--one Harby described with comparable relish: "Take the cow-boys as a class, they are bold, fearless, and generous, a warmhearted and manly set, with nothing small, vicious, nor mean about them, and Texas need not be ashamed of the brave and skillful riders who traverse the length and breadth of her expansive prairies." (p. 240-241) Thus, the cowboy, once regarded with derision and suspicion, was transformed through the efforts and imagery of Remington, and his contemporary Charles Russell, into an iconic symbol of America and the glorious Old West.



    Condition Report*: Excellent original condition, verso one inch square patch corresponding mid-right margin associated inpainting, minor losses to margins from previous frame, picture plane in excellent condition
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    24th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 12,160

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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