Frederic Remington

Frederic Sackrider Remington

  • American


American painter and sculptor, notable for his scenes of the American West. AsNotedIn


Timeline

Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
1861/10/04 Born Frederic Remington's Birthday
1886/09/00 Frederic Remington covers the Charleston, Earthquake for Harper's Weekly. Reporter 1886 Charleston Earthquake
1888/00/00 Frederic Remington spends 3 months at Fort Reno Visitor Fort Reno El Reno
1895/00/00 Remington executes his first sculpture, The Broncho Buster. Using the sand-casting method, more than 60 casts are created at the Henry-Bonnard producing a simpler where his right stirrup hugs the body of his horse and his whip is pointed upward. Sculptor
1895/00/00 Begins sculpting Artist
1898/00/00 Frederic Remington serves as a war correspondent for William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Work Spanish-American War
1898/07/01 Rough Riders, 3rd Cavalry and 10th Cavalry charge up Kettle Hill Reporter Memorial Loma de San Juan Santiago de Cuba Battle of San Juan Hill
1900/00/00 Circa 1900, Frederic Remington moves his Broncho Buster model to Roman Bronze Works for casting in the lost-wax method. He changed the rider's stirrup to flare out to the side and his right hand angled down at the rear of his horse, whose tail flips up. Sculptor
1909/00/00 Architect Frederic Remington House Ridgefield
1909/05/17 Frederic Remington Home Home Frederic Remington House Ridgefield
1909/12/26 Died Frederic Remington House Ridgefield

History

As a child Remington showed a strong penchant for art and an enthusiasm for athletics. At 17 he entered Yale to study art and became an excellent football player and a fine boxer. Leaving after two years, he studied drawing for a short time at the Art Students League in New York and then went west. Traveling through the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and Kansas, he soon determined to spend his life in recording the life of the Old West, which was already rapidly disappearing.

Remington returned to the East in 1883, married, and by 1886 had begun to achieve success as an artist. Although his knowledge of the West was quite extensive, and his work improved after another trip west, he suffered many rejections until Harper's Weekly accepted a drawing of his for the cover of its January 9, 1886 issue. Entitled "The Apache War," the illustration portrayed Indian scouts following the trail of Geronimo.

After the artist's initial success with Harper's Weekly, Remington's pictures began to appear regularly in that magazine, and by 1887-88 he had exhibited a number of paintings. A painting of his won a silver medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. In the following year, Harper's Weekly, Harper's Monthly, and Century Magazine published a total of 173 of Remington's illustrations. From 1888 until his death, he visited the plains at least once each year, refreshing memories and gathering new impressions.

Although he had begun as an illustrator, Remington developed as an artist until his death. His early drawings are not outstanding, but they helped to develop his skill in portraying action. His first paintings may have lacked good technique, but as time passed his pictures reflected a growing ability to handle colors. The artist's night scenes, such as "The Winter Campaign," especially displayed the maturing of his painterly qualities. At the very end of his life, Remington produced some lovely landscapes that showed a further increase in his ability to handle whites and russets. Only his premature death at age 47 stopped his artistic growth. Remington portrayed what he observed sympathetically and honestly. He knew the Indian and the white man of the West and he reproduced them simply and directly. The Indian appeared both in all of his dignity and bravery and in his defeat and degradation at the hands of the white man. The soldier and cowboy also were drawn realistically. Remington was particularly precise in the accuracy of detail and his studio was always crowed with Indian gear, cowboy clothing, Army equipment and numerous on-site sketches done on his travels. Remington was particularly talented in capturing the magnificent spirit and movement of the horse, such an integral part of the West. Perhaps his best known sculpture, "The Bronco Buster," shows a bucking horse in unrivaled fashion.

Working quickly and easily in pencil, ink, watercolor and oil, he produced thousands of sketches and paintings. Over 2,700 of these were published, making him by far the most widely; reproduced illustrator of his time. In 1895 Remington began to sculpt, and, although entirely self-taught, he was even more successful than in painting. His pieces of sculpture, like his paintings and drawings, were filled with action and portrayed the subjects in realistic detail. His sculpture was perhaps so successful because it was so spontaneous and unacademic in style. Remington experimented with molding on his own and was able to capture the movement and lightness of his drawings in bronze. His subjects, such as the bucking broncos and the horse rearing away from a rattlesnake, split second action of rearing horse and rider, caught in bronze, nearly defy gravity.

Remington was also a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and he served as his own illustrator in such works as Pony Tracks (1895), Crooked Trails (1898), Stories of Peace and War (1899), and The Way of an Indian (1906).

Early in 1909 Remington and his wife, Missy, moved from their home, "Endion," in New Rochelle, New York, where they had lived for 19 years and moved to land which they bought in a rural area of Ridgefield, Connecticut. There, in a rustic setting of nearly fifty undeveloped acres, they designed and built their dream house. In the midst of construction and painters, carpenters and paper-hangers, Remington found time to do some lovely paintings, turning to softer hues, experimenting with pastels. In his new studio, cluttered with models and sketches, he completed "Apaches Listening," "Sun Dance," "Hauling in the Gill Net," "The Sentinel," and his last painting, "Around the Campfire." Early in December 1909 he opened an exhibit of 23 paintings at Knoedler's galleries in New York City and critics hailed his newest work. He made great plans at Ridgefield for future work, including his dream of doing a figure of an Indian in heroic size to be placed on Staten Island where the island extends farthest out into the Atlantic. Then in late December he died from appendicitis.

At the time of his death he had completed more than 2700 works of art, which appeared in more than 40 magazines. He sketches and paintings, used as illustrations and published in collections, appeared in 142 books, eight of which he wrote himself. - NRHP Registration

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