Friends or Foes? (The Scout)

A solitary Blackfoot Indian leans forward on his horse, gazing across a snowy landscape at the lights of a distant encampment. The figure’s pose, the horse’s breath, and the glimmering sky create an almost palpable stillness and tension—the rider has no way of knowing if he would be welcome at the camp. The painting’s somber mood reflects a shift in Remington’s many images of the West and its increasingly isolated Native American population, indicating nostalgia for a way of life he felt was disappearing.

Provenance

To Ledyard Cogswell, Sr., Albany(?), New York; to J. Townsend Lansing, Albany, New York; estate of J. Townsend Lansing; to Albany Institute of History and Art, 1920; to (John Levy Galleries, New York, and M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1950); to Robert Sterling Clark, January 23, 1951.

Frederic Remington

American, 1861–1909

Friends or Foes? (The Scout)

1902–05

Oil on canvas

27 x 40 in. (68.6 x 101.6 cm) Frame: 37 5/8 × 50 1/2 × 3 in. (95.6 × 128.3 × 7.6 cm)


Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1945

1955.12


ON VIEW

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Conrads, Margaret C. American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990.