DEATH: 1909 REMINGTON
on 26 December 1909: Frederic Sackrider Remington,
in Canton, New York, Western painter and sculptor born on 04 October
Frederic Remington, one of the preeminent artists of the US West, was born in New York. The son of a comfortable, if not wealthy, family, Remington was one of the first students to attend Yale University's new School of Fine Arts. At Yale he became a skilled painter, but he focused his efforts largely on the traditional subjects of high art, not the Wild West.
When Frederic was 19, his father died, leaving him a small inheritance that gave him the freedom to indulge his interest in traveling in the West. As with other transplanted upper-class easterners like Theodore Roosevelt and Owen Wister, Remington quickly developed a deep love for the West and its fast disappearing world of cowboys, Indians, and wide-open spaces. Eventually buying a sheep ranch near Kansas City, Remington continued to travel around his adopted western home, endlessly drawing and painting what he saw.
In 1884, Remington sold his first sketches based on his western travels, and two years later his first fully credited picture appeared on the cover of Harper's Weekly. After that, his popularity as an illustrator grew steadily, and he returned to New York in order to be closer to the largely eastern market for his work. Frequent assignments from publishers, though, ensured that Remington was never away long from the West, and gave him the opportunity to closely observe and sketch his favorite subjects: US Cavalry soldiers, cowboys, and Amerindians.
An example of his work as an illustrator is online: Theodore Roosevelt's Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail,
Remington's output was enormous, and during the last 20 years of his life he created more than 2700 paintings and drawings and published illustrations in 142 books and 42 different magazines. Though most of his paintings were created in his studio in New York, Remington continued to base his work on his western travels and prided himself on accuracy and realism-particularly when it came to horses. He even suggested that he would like his epitaph to read: "He Knew the Horse."
When he died on 26 December 1909 in Connecticut, from acute appendicitis, Remington left a body of work that was popular with the public but largely ignored by "serious" museums and art collectors. Since then, though, Remington's paintings, drawings, and illustrations have become prized by collectors and curators around the world.
With his dynamic representations of cowboys and cavalrymen, bronco busters and braves, 19th-century artist Frederic Remington created a mythic image of the US West that continues to inspire America today. His technical ability to reproduce the physical beauty of the Western landscape made him a sought-after illustrator, but it was his insight into the heroic nature of US settlers that made him great.
This painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator, who was so often identified with the American West, surprisingly spent most of his life in the East. More than anything, in fact, it was Remington’s connection with the eastern fantasy of the West, and not a true knowledge of its history and people, that his admirers responded to.
Remington briefly attended the Yale School of Art and the Art Students League of New York before heeding the call to "go West." As a young man, he traveled widely throughout the country, spending most of his time sketching the people and places in the new US frontier. In 1886 he established himself as an illustrator of Western themes, and sold his work to many of the major magazines of the time.
While most of his best known work was in illustration, he was also a fine painter, capturing on his canvases the sweeping vistas, heroic figures, and moments of danger and conflict that came to define the archetypal romance of the West. Whether portraying a Crow brave facing death at the hands of his enemies in Ridden Down or cowboys eluding Indian pursuers in A Dash for the Timber, Remington returned time and again to his signature theme: the life and death struggles of the individual against overwhelming forces.
Great Explorers (1905) Bringing Home the New Cook (1907) Cavalry Officer Cowboy (1902) Cow Puncher (1901) Infantry Soldier Warning Shot The Advance Guard On the Trail Rounding-up the Bear Great Explorers Buffalo Runner Buffalo Runner (1907) Army Packer Breaking Horses fineart''' is gone Cavalryman of the Line (1889)