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Whitney Western Art Museum

Catlin, George 49
Oil on paperboard 11
Painting 860
Landscape 691 Animal 735
ca. 1855-1870
Sheet height: 18.5 in, Sheet width: 25 in, Frame height: 23 in, Frame width: 29 in, frame depth: 1.5 in
Wild Horses at Play in the Prairies of the Platte
Credit Line:
Gift of Paul Mellon
Catlin, one of the first Euro-Americans to portray herds of wild horses, painted several versions of this subject throughout his career. In his journal, Catlin wrote: "There is no other animal on the prairies so wild and so sagacious as the horse." The strong, lively outlines defining the forms of the swirling herd convey their wildness, while their wisdom might be seen in their large, searching eyes, which signified an alertness that made it difficult for Catlin to approach them.
Top center: 142, LL: A (over 293), Secondary label: AMNH 293; Catlin 142, Top (in pencil): 142
The invoice incorrectly states a total of 384 paintings. There were, in fact, 389 paintings purchased, 351 of which Mr. Mellon gave to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in December 1965. 24 given to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, November 1985; 4 given to the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, December 1986; and the remaining 10 to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, December 1986. Oil on paperboard on Bristol Board
Accession Number:

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