Indians Simulating Buffalo

Frederic Remington1908

The Toledo Museum of Art

The Toledo Museum of Art


  • Title: Indians Simulating Buffalo
  • Creator: Frederic Remington
  • Date Created: 1908
  • Location Created: North America
  • Physical Dimensions: w1019 x h684 cm (Complete)
  • Catalogue entry: An exchange of glances is the focal point of Frederic Remington's intriguing homage to the American West. Bent over their grazing ponies with buffalo skins thrown over them, two Native Americans of the western plains employ a time-honored hunting trick of disguising themselves as bison. A wagon train barely visible in the distance, however, suggests the camouflaged men are scouts rather than hunters. Although Remington's images most often show Native Americans as the antagonists, the meaning here is more ambiguous. The painting may illustrate a nostalgic view of an already-vanished way of life or it may suggest the stereotypical narrative of Native Americans posing a menace to the white settlers who once made their way to western lands. More than any other artist, Remington shaped our view of the Old West. Fascinated with the West's panorama and drama, he nostalgically recorded the lives and adventures of Native Americans, cavalrymen, cowboys, and settlers in paintings, magazine illustrations, and bronze sculptures. Completed a year before his death, Indians Simulating Buffalo was commissioned by publishers P. F. Collier and Son, with whom Remington had a contract. The painting was used as the cover image of the September 18, 1909, issue of Collier's Magazine. Remington's paintings of 1907-1908 reflect increasing Impressionist influence. In this canvas, he adapted the style's intense palette to record the strong sunlight and parched landscape, while the brushstrokes delineating the buffalo robes and the strong vertical blue and reddish lines that build up the shadows beneath them are similar to the Impressionists' brushwork (see 1951.371 and 1929.51).
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Gift of Florence Scott Libbey
  • External Link: http://classes.toledomuseum.org:8080/emuseum/view/objects/asitem/123/0
  • Medium: Oil on canvas