Osceola - The Great Seminole Chief


Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, United States

Osceola was chief of the Seminoles during the Indian Wars of the 1830s. Treacherously imprisoned by the U.S. Army under a flag of truce, the 35-year-old warrior died of tuberculosis at Fort Moultrie within months. Osceola's valor and the circumstances of his last days made him a folk hero and an example of the United States' misguided policy toward the native population. Osceola's features reflect his mixed blood; his paternal grandfather was a Scotsman who married a Creek woman. In this later copy, Curtis idealized Osceola's features, giving them a distinctly European cast. His breastplates and beaded belt, contrasted with the cotton shawl and headwrap, underscore the uneasy mixture of Osceola's American Indian and European ancestry.


  • Title: Osceola - The Great Seminole Chief
  • Date Created: 1838
  • Physical Dimensions: Canvas dimensions: 30 × 25 1/4 in. (76.2 × 64.14 cm) Framed dimensions: 37 3/8 × 32 3/4 × 3 3/4 in. (94.93 × 83.19 × 9.53 cm)
  • Type: Paintings
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/4280113/
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation
  • Artist Nationality: American
  • Artist: Robert John Curtis

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