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    Description

    Frederic Remington (American, 1861-1909)
    Water!, circa 1890
    Oil on canvas
    29-1/2 x 21-1/2 inches (74.9 x 54.6 cm)
    Signed lower right: Frederic Remington

    PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT TEXAS COLLECTION

    PROVENANCE:
    Coeur D'Alene Art Auction, Hayden, Idaho, July 31, 2014, lot 102;
    Private collection, Texas, acquired from the above.

    LITERATURE:
    J. Bidwell, "The First Emigrant Train to California," The Century Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 1, New York, November 1890, p. 124, illustrated.
    P.H. Hassrick and M.J. Webster, Frederic Remington A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings, Volume I, Cody, Wyoming, 1996, p. 337, illustrated.

    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, Water! is an outstanding example of Remington's illustration style, which captured the imagination of the reading public. This painting was featured in the November 1890 issue of The Century Magazine, and accompanied an article entitled "The First Emigrant Train to California" by General John Bidwell. When he painted the present work, Remington was at the height of his illustration career, which served as an important conduit for readers of both The Century Magazine and 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 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" (L.C. Harby, "Texan Types And Contrasts," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 81, issue 482, July 1980, pp. 240-41).

    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*: Unlined canvas; extremely faint craquelure throughout; a few small spots of in-paint to the background along the left edge; most notably, one approximate 1 inch diameter spot of in-paint under the figure's left hand, spot is noticeable in raking light.
    Framed Dimensions 38 X 30 Inches
    *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
    July, 2020
    1st Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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