Alfred Jacob Miller
"The sketch will give you some idea of a band of wild horses engaged in their rough amusement and frolicsome pastime of biting and kicking, while some are rearing and striking with their fore-feet. The popular idea that they have sentinels posted to give an alarm must have arisen from the circumstance of the stallions feeding apart at some distance from the main band. Being thus isolated they take in a wider range than the mares huddled and feeding together. Their hot and fiery blood causes them to take alarm at the slightest movement,- so that when they start a general stampede takes place, and in a very few minutes the prairie is bare and not one of them is to be seen." 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.
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