The present painting was illustrated on the cover of the September 1916 issue of Sunset Magazine as part of a short story about the Mexican Revolution by Herman Whittaker entitled "Over the Border."
The Prisoners was a gift from Maynard Dixon to his friend and fellow artist, Harold von Schmidt. In his biography by Walt Reed, von Schmidt recollects his early encounters with Dixon: "Maynard Dixon was one of the best painters in California at the time, and I heard he kept open house at his studio on Saturdays. I finally got up the courage to call on him...I asked if I could see his pictures and because I knew I had a lot to learn, I offered to do posing in exchange for pointers about my work. Dixon was working on a set of murals at the time, so he took me on. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to see how he painted and study his originals." The two would remain close friends for many years and exchanged many letters during Dixon's travels throughout the Southwest.
This painting will be included in Donald J. Hagerty's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's works.