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  • Frederic Remington
    Oct 4, 1861 - Dec 26, 1909
  • Moonlight, Wolf - Frederic Sackrider Remington was an American very significant artist, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U.S. Cavalry.
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Moonlight, Wolf
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  • Moonlight, Wolf

  • Frederic Remington
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  • circa 1909
    Oil on canvas
    Addison Gallery of American Art, United States.

    In another late work, Remington created an image that destroyed the comforting distance viewers might have felt when considering the grim implications of such paintings as The Luckless Hunter. In Moonlight, Wolf Remington succeeded in turning the viewer into potential prey. Isolated at the center of the canvas, a lone wolf stares with narrowed eyes into the viewer’s space. Frozen in its tracks, the wolf appears to have heard an alarming sound. There is, however, no agent within the painting for the wolf to act upon. Instead, the fixated eyes of Remington’s wolf engage the viewer and cast that individual as either the source of the animal’s alarm or the object of its attack. The threat of danger, an element present in nearly all of Remington’s nocturnes, is now directed out, toward the viewer.

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Other paintings by Frederic Remington:

When His Heart is Bad
When His Heart is Bad
Night Halt of the Cavalry
Night Halt of the Cavalry
Episode of a Buffalo Hunt
Episode of a Buffalo Hunt
Cow Pony
Cow Pony
Frederic Sackrider RemingtonFrederic Sackrider Remington was a very significant artist, skilled as a writer and lauded as an illustrator, painter and sculptor. His subtle and powerful work made him the premier chronicler of the late nineteenth century American West. The son of a newspaper publisher, Remington was born in Canton, New York in 1861. He began sketching as a boy. After attending a Massachusetts military academy from 1876 to 1878, he entered the newly formed Yale University Art School in New Haven, Connecticut. His father's death in 1880 induced him to leave school and briefly take on clerical work in Albany, New York.

During a short journey West in 1881, Remington received a glimpse of the life and land that would influence and inspire the rest of his life. The trip, consisting of sketching, prospecting and cow punching from Montana to Texas, resulted in his first published illustration in Harper's weekly in 1882. In 1883, he bought a sheep ranch in Kansas, which served as a home base for more trips throughout the Southwest, where he sketched horses, cavalrymen, cowboys and Indians. Remington sold the ranch in 1884, and established a studio in Kansas City, Missouri.

Returning to New York City in 1885, Remington quickly became a successful illustrator, his work appearing in many publications. He began writing and illustrating his own books and articles as well, giving Eastern America what became the accepted vision of the American West. Wanting greater acceptance as a fine artist, he studied at the Art Students League in New York City for a few months in 1886. Remington began submitting his paintings to exhibitions, but his illustrations remained the primary source of his remarkable reputation. Remington did start winning prizes for his paintings in the early 1890s. His work consisted of visual narratives of the old West, with landscape secondary to the figure. In 1895, Remington produced his first bronze sculpture: The Bronco Buster (a cast in the Metropolitan Museum of Art), which immediately became popular and was followed by 24 other bronzes. His ability to exhibit a strong sense of life and movement in a three dimensional work was recognized.

After moving to a farm in Connecticut, where he established an art gallery and library surrounded by collected Western memorabilia and artifacts, Remington began to experiment with a kind of impressionism around 1905. Many American artists were attracted to the style during that period, but Remington never really ceased to be a realist.

Remington died in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1909 after a sudden attack of appendicitis, leaving a legacy of more than 2,750 paintings and drawings and 25 sculptures from which multiple casts were made. In addition, he had written eight books and numerous articles about the American West, and served in the Spanish American War as a war correspondent. He was the most important artist ever to record the vanishing Western frontier.