Frederic Remington (1861-1909). “A Russian Cossack.”
From American Illustrators. New York: Charles Scribner, 1892. 10 1/2 x 8 3/4. Chromolithograph. Very good condition.
Nowhere is the American West to be found more completely illustrated than in the works of Frederic Remington. Born an Easterner in upstate New York on October 1, 1861, he had by age 19, distinguished himself as a football player and pugilist at Yale. He arrived on the western plains in 1880 and found the demanding life to his liking, excelling in the use of the lariat and six-gun. He became friends with the working men of the times, prospected for gold, rode with military troops on campaigns, and roamed such fabled routes as the Santa Fe Trail and Bozeman Road. Remington quickly realized that he was witnessing the end of an era. Five years later, Remington arrived in New York City packing his voluminous portfolios resolved to break into art and illustration. Initial successes were thin, yet within 18 months editors were seeking him out and his painting, and within a few years he was recognized as the foremost western illustrator and sculptor of his day. Yet he continued to roam each summer for the increasingly elusive characters of the Old West. Remington is unique for his “caught-in-action” style, a legacy of his lack in formal training and its stifling pedagogy--which he could never tolerate. He died in 1909 after surgery for appendicitis, his career at apogee, some 48 well-lived years of age.