"Indian Braves" 1899
Watercolor on paper
painted by Charles M. Russell (American)
accompanying caption from the Met American Wing curatorial Dept. ;
‘Russell, who was known as the Cowboy Artist, relied on his personal experiences as a Montana rancher and wrangler for the detailed realism of his sculptures, paintings and sketches. At the same time he mythologized his Old West subjects through dramatic narratives and generalized types. Here, armed braves on horseback advance slowly toward the edge of a hill; their leader gestures for them to wait as he surveys the landscape below him. The outcome of the scenario remains tantalizingly unanswered.”
I think we all know the result of this scenario depicting indigenous self-determination; land theft, large-scale rape of the indigenous people and their natural resources, and ultimately genocide. The reservations leave hardly anyone tantalized.