Remington was born in 1861 in Canton, New York. He is primarily considered an illustrator but his bronze sculptors are what is he most noted for. He attended the Yale Art School as one of the first two students enrolled but considered himself to be primarily a self taught artist. The death of his father in 1880 left him with a small income, which allowed him to travel to the West. He worked as a hired cowboy, sheep rancher and traveled all over the plains and even prospected for gold. As he traveled he sketched everything around him, recording the last of the Old West on paper.
Remington returned to New York in 1885 virtually broke, but armed with hundreds of drawings he had from four years of travel. He enrolled in the Art Students League to improve his technique. Harper’s Weekly purchased his The Apache War – Indian Scouts on Geronimo’s Trail for the cover of their January 9, 1886 issue. This was the first illustration published under his name and launched his career. Theodore Roosevelt asked him to illustrate his book Ranch Life and the Hunting Trails in 1888.
Remington met noted sculptor Frederick Ruckstull in 1895 and this led him to do his first sculpture The Bronco Buster that same year. He produced twenty-five different sculptures in his career. Up until 1901, he used the Henry Bonnard Foundry in New York where he used the sand cast method of production. After that, Remington changed to the lost wax method and moved his models to the Roman Bronze Works of New York. He was the first American sculptor to use this method which allowed the artist total control over each casting and to make changes as each one was done from a new wax model. He did just that, changing the rise of a horses hoof or the positioning of a tail or rider. He produced only one monument in his life, The Cowboy, which stands in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.
Remington died unexpectedly from appendicitis in 1909. His widow died in 1918 and left all of his art to the Remington Art Museum in Ogdensberg, New York and specified that all of his bronze casting molds and models be broken and destroyed so that no on could continue to produce his bronzes.
Getting Hunters into Horse Show Form
Oil on Canvas en grisaille
27" x 40"