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The Reproduction Process

O.H.Cowboys Roping a Steer. The painting by Charles Marion Russell
Colors used:
O.H.Cowboys Roping a Steer

While for a period in the early 20th century the art genre often named Cowboy or Western Art enjoyed a modicum of popularity and was practiced by a number of painters, few of them could boast having the hands-on experience of the cowboy life carried by Charles Marion Russell. In 1882, Russel had left his Missouri family home and headed West to Montana, where he worked in a small number of ranches and farms where, while he was famously terrible at being a cowboy and shepherd, he significantly developed his inspiration portfolio and came to enjoy an excellent level of folk fame, making his name as possibly the most influential Cowboy Artist, which in his case was a very apt eponym.

Those experiences greatly informed Russell’s painting, giving it a varnish of verisimilitude and enabling him to not only portray the realities of country life in a rather emotional way but also to see humor and drama in the day to day life of his peers. Whilst that can be seen throughout Russell’s work, some paintings are declaredly related to his experiences in a very close manner, a group which includes this oil on canvas from circa 1892. Here, the artist depicts what would have been a rather ordinary, mundane even, scene during his time working at the O-H Ranch in the Judith Basin, Montana, where he spent the harsh 1886-1887 winter, a time which arguably would catapult his name among the Montana art patrons.

In this piece, two cowboys race after a runaway steer, trying to recapture the powerful creature with their lassoes. Lariats in hand, spinning over their heads, the cowboy in the center of the picture is supposed to rope the animal’s head, while the cowboy on the right is trying to rope its hind legs. Even though the scene would be in all likelihood an almost daily occurrence at any given Western ranch, Russell portrays it with care, masterfully capturing the action and movement of the scene, showcasing the skill and courage those men had to demonstrate day in day out.

Painted over five years after Russell’s time at the ranch, the scene carries in itself a varnish of nostalgia, showing an almost idealized cowboy. It is now in possession of the Montana Historical Society, in Helena, Montana.

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O.H.Cowboys Roping a Steer Charles Marion Russell

Item Number: 26852755 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $328.99
Total Price: $328.99
you SAVE 55% Compared to Local Galleries $592.18
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