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Image source: The Walters Art Museum | Licence: CC0 1.0
Image source: The Walters Art Museum | Licence: CC0 1.0

Beating a Retreat


Alfred Jacob Miller

From the collection


Beating a Retreat




"Although this Sioux Indian has an immense range of his own to hunt over, he is not content with it, and we find him here on the grounds of the Blackfeet. The retreating Indian is defending himself as he runs, as best he can; the shield which he uses is covered with bull-hide, and becomes so tough in time that no arrow can pepetrate its surface. His great care is to protect the head and body, letting his extremities take their chance. In case an arrow penetrates his leg or arm, he still continues his flight to a place of safety;- his capability to bear pain, and patience under its infliction, is wonderful. When he is no longer pursued, if wounded, he sits down and cuts out the arrow;- compressing the wound with a bandage drawn tightly around it and inclosing medicinal plants very often, if they are to be found." A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837).

In July 1858 William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at twelve dollars apiece from Baltimore born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text, and were delivered in installments over the next twenty-one months and ultimately were bound in three albums. Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.
(Released under the GNU Free Documentation License)
Medium: watercolor on paper.
Credit line: Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860.
For full details please visit the collection website.


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Wyoming, USA



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Image source: The Walters Art Museum

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