Remington’s raw reflections of the cowboy, cavalry, bronco busters and native American warriors, ultimately made the 19th-century artist the greatest artist America has ever produced!
Remington created an icredible image of the American West that today continues to inspire America, the entire world for that matter. His technical skills reproduced the physical beauty of the West and America’s landscape repleat with larger than life charactors, made him a master illustrator with esteem in high-demand. His insight into the very nature and perserverance of the American settler that made him great. This painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator, who is identified with the American West, in an amazing way, spent most of his life in the earlier refined East. More than anything, in fact, it was Remington’s connection with the eastern fantasy of the West, its history and people, that admirers responded to.
Born to Canton , New York, in the year 1861, Remington briefly attended the Yale School of Art and the Art Students League of New York. He then went West.” As a young man, he traveled widely throughout the nation, spending his time sketching people and places in the American frontier. He established himself in 1886, as an illustrator of West, selling his works to most major magazines of the time including, HARPER’S WEEKLY. Within 23 short years he would establish himself as America’s greatest artist. During his employ for the Hearst publications empire Remington (the spy) was thrown out of Russia “asked to leave” as his photographic realism in recreating renderings of the Russian military and its equipment became glaringly apparent to the Russian government. Much of his best known works were illustrative, however, Remington was a brilliant painter capturing on canvas sweeping vistas, coarse and toughened figures; his works imortalizing moments of danger and conflict that defined the American West. Such as his portraying a warrior of the Crow nation faced with death at the hands of an enemy in Remington’s masterpiece “Ridden Down” or Vaqueros eluding native American warriors in pursuit the subject of his commissioned work “A Dash for the Timber.” Remington without fail remained steadfast to the life and death struggles of the individual under overwhelming forces, against all odds.
In the mid-1890s, Remington turned his talent to sculpture “the mud,” he keenly mastered the medium. His bronze works such as “The Broncho Buster” and “The Cheyenne,” gave new dimension to each subject; his detail, capture of movement, and energy made “his” works live on in history to be collected by Kings, Queens, Presidents, and Heads of State. Remington was briefly interrupted in 1898, for the Cuba campaign. Whence Remington found himself a war correspondent and illustrator for Randolph Hearst Publications during the Spanish Civil War. His mis-belief that war was a perhaps a noble struggle, heroic or even glorious were dashed almost at instant; deeply disillusioned by the brutalness of it all, he found it neither glorious nor heroic, in short appalling.
Retreating to the St. Lawrence River, it was there at Inglenuk that he further perfected his craft, creating the bulk of his most famous work. In 1908, Remington made his last trip West, died soon after at the young age of forty-eight of an unfortunate infection post a successful appendicitis surgery. This just as his friend and fellow author, long time hunting and fishing partner and president of the United States left the oval office for retirement. President “Teddy” Roosevelt in 1908, was at last available to join his long time friend Remington for the outdoor adventures both men had together long enjoyed, but Remington was gone.
Over the course of his short career, Frederic Remington™ produced more than three thousand drawings and paintings, twenty-two bronze sculptures, a novel, a Broadway play, and over one hundred articles and stories. Accomplished in a day and time of horse and buggy, rail, or laborious steamship travel. Remington’s 23 years of work, with its dramatic subjects and raw realism ignited American imagination; it was Remington’s vision of the American West that became the vision of the nation, even that of the world.
The end of the 19th century signaled the demise of the American the frontier; immortalized by Remington the Western experience was one of independence, individualism, and stoic heroism…..American resilience. It was this optimisim that had settled the West, and was during Remington’s time, the way Americans pictured themselves. Remington struck a chord deep in the heart of Americans, defining our national character, charactor that echoes today in our popular culture. From the “Marlboro Man” to epic Westerns of John Ford fame (whose film SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON) was absolutely inspired by Remington’s images uniquely American, images that reflect for all time the enduring legacy of America’s icon, Frederic Remington™, truly a national treasure and the greatest artist America has ever produced.