Winter Encampment of the Crow Indians
watercolor and gouache on paper
signed and dated 1882, lower right
12.75" x 27.25"
In 1882, Farny was residing in Cincinnati, fresh from his first experience West to Standing Rock Agency in the Dakota Territory. His initial encounter in late 1881 with American Indians so impressed him that from this point onwards, the remainder of his career was dedicated solely to the portrayal of the peoples whose culture were rapidly changing.
The foreground figure in Winter Encampment is strikingly similar to that of Toilers of the Plains (1882), a work that is widely considered to be Farny's first major undertaking on American Indian subject matter. Both works were painted shortly after his return to the Queen City. A comparison is drawn in the most recent exhibition of Farny's work at the Cincinnati Art Museum (Schimmel in Meyn 2007: 26-7). Farny frequently reinvented similar subjects, and a third painting of the same subject is known to have gained acceptance in the Paris Salon during the same year (Meyn 2007:47). While Toilers of the Plains is a monochrome, contemplative work, Winter Encampment is a richly detailed composition, filled with traditional elements of Northern Plains Indians' daily life. The medium - watercolor and gouache - became Farny's preference, naturally lending itself to more detailed work.
Illustrated: Henry Farny Paints The West Meyn, 2007: 27, Fig. 14.
A Montana Private Collection
Condition: Excellent condition.