Frederic Remington1861 - 1909
Born: October 4, 1861, Canton, New York
Died: December 26, 1909, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Frederic Remington grew up surrounded by horses and, at the age of three, he began drawing them. Drawing came naturally for Remington and his style and compositions were unique. In 1878, he attended Yale School of Fine Arts, but only remained two years, claiming he disliked the classical European art training that Yale upheld. In 1882, he traveled on the first of 21 excursions to the West in order to gather subject material. During these journeys, Remington searched for the action and drama of the "old West." Having served in the military, he favored the Anglo progression through the native lands and praised war and combat.
Remington sold his first works to Harper's Weekly and, encouraged by the sales, he pursued other magazines to fund his Western travels. He quickly gained recognition for his illustrations in Collier's, Cosmopolitan, and Outing. In 1886 Remington briefly studied at the Art Students League, but quit at the end of the term to accept a Harper's commission to illustrate Geronimo's battles against the U.S. Army in New Mexico. Remington was a prolific artist, creating 2,750 paintings and drawings, 25 bronzes, as well as illustrations for eight books and numerous magazines.
Remington's early illustrations were tightly drawn, detailed, and sharp edged, narrating a story through the delineation of action. His dramatic images of raw energy were violent and masculine. In mid-career, Remington was influenced by the French Impressionists' theory of paint application and by the Symbolist's engagement with spiritual ideas. He began to experiment with a series of nocturnes, or night paintings. Remington is best known for his depictions of historical themes of western life, such as cowboys, Native Americans, landscapes and wildlife. He worked from artifacts, photographs and sketches, which he collected in the field.
Remington is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, New York, the Whitney Museum of Western Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.