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Whitney Western Art Museum

Russell, Charles M. 232
oil on canvas 335
Painting 860
Group 440 Animal 735 military 54 Landscape 691 Cowboy 292
sight height: 30 in, sight width: 48 in, Frame height: 37.75 in, Frame width: 55.625 in, frame depth: 3.25 in
When Law Dulls the Edge of Chance
Credit Line:
Gift of William E. Weiss
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police held a special place in Russell's heart. Their colorful exploits and heroic deeds made them a likely subject for many of his paintings. He especially concentrated on them as subjects during the mid-teens. So effectively did he capture their adventurous life that the residents of High River, Alberta, Canada, purchased this painting, When Law Dulls the Edge of Chance, and gave it as a gift to the Prince of Wales in 1919. Canada’s North-West Mounted Police (later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) made a favorable impression on Charles M. Russell when he met them in 1888, and their colorful adventures and heroic deeds made them the subject of four paintings by the artist. In this work, two Mounties have discovered a pair of horse thieves. One outlaw stands in a defiant pose, while the other raises his hands in surrender. Russell had sympathy for, and partially identified with, the outlaw, who still represented the independent spirit of the Old West. (KBM 8-31-2016)
LLC: C M Russell/(skull/1915/ c; On reverse: When Law Dulls the Edge of Chance -/No 1 (Stattuck stretcher)
Quarterly Journal: The American Review of Canadian Studies, Volume 33, Number 4, Winter 2003; One Myth, Two Wests: Special Issue on the West; The Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Washington, D.C.; front cover
Accession Number:

As of 06-14-2017 this object is on display in the Whitney Western Art Museum.
If you are making a special trip, please double-check before visiting.

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