Catalog Archive
Auction 125, Lot 866

"Horse Racing of Sioux Indians near Fort Pierre", Bodmer, Karl

Subject: Native Americans

Period: 1839-1844 (published)

Publication: Travels in the Interior of North America

Color: Hand Color

10 x 9 inches
25.4 x 22.9 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

Karl Bodmer, (1809-1893), is among the most important 19th-century artists of the American West and Native Americans. Bodmer accompanied the German prince, Maximilian of Wied, on an expedition up the Missouri River in 1832. With Bodmer in charge of the pictorial documentary, Prince Maximilian, an experienced and respected traveler and naturalist, set out to put together as complete a study as possible of the western territories of the United States. The result was the publication of Maximilian's journals in successive German, French, and English editions between 1839 and 1844, and with it, a picture atlas of eighty-one aquatint engravings of Bodmer's watercolor paintings. The images presented the peoples of the Manadan, Cree, Sioux, Blackfoot, Minnataree, Assiniboin, and Gros Ventres tribes. The images are beautifully rendered landscapes, portraits, and scenes of Indian life which are now regarded as one of the most comprehensive and memorable visual surveys of the western territories ever made. Bodmer's original watercolors are in the permanent collection of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. These aquatints are the only Bodmer images available to collectors.

This dramatic aquatint has great motion as it details a race between warriors with the fort in the background. Here Bodmer shows remarkable detail of the costumes, weapons, head-dresses, and the decoration on each horse. Vignette XXX shows three riders flying across the prairie riding bare-back. The plate mark is 13.75" x 10.4" and paper is sized 17.75" x 12.1", with the original embossed stamp: "C. Bodmer" below the title.


Condition: A+

Lovely example with full margins, fine hand coloring and beautiful impression.

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 9/24/2008