• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2058

    Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture

    4 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 76

    Frederic Remington (1861-1909)

    'The Mountain Man'

    Price Realised  


    Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
    'The Mountain Man'
    inscribed 'Copyright by/Frederic Remington' (along the base)--inscribed 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS, N.Y.' (along the base)--inscribed 'No 60.' (beneath the base)
    bronze with greenish-brown patina
    29 in. (73.7 cm.) high

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    In The Mountain Man, Frederic Remington effectively captures a scene of frontier life as a trapper and horse sharply descend a rugged pass. Because Remington wished to emphasize the high, steep slope of the mountain path, The Mountain Man is several inches higher than his other bronzes. Remington's ninth bronze, like so much of his most successful art and sculpture, depicts a figure type of the Old West. Initially conceived in 1903, The Mountain Man was one of the first examples of Remington's work acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art for its permanent collection.

    After spending two years as one of the first students in Yale University's newly formed Art School, Remington traveled west in 1880 and became enamored with the lifestyle he experienced in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. Drawing upon his extensive sketches from his travels, Remington was soon able to gain recognition as an illustrator for publications such as Harper's Weekly and The Century Magazine. Critics and the public alike were drawn to the stunning realism of his work and his sculptures found immediate success.

    In the present example, the detailed execution of the figure's ammunition pouch, powder horn, reins, sheath, and rifle are exquisite. Michael Greenbaum notes that "during Remington's lifetime, The Mountain Man was one of his most critically accepted works. It was one of two groups purchased in 1905 by the Corcoran Gallery of Art and one of four subjects bought in 1907 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It remains one of his most enduring sculptural works, a striking representational image of the frontier." (Icons of the West: Frederic Remington's Sculpture, Ogdensburg, New York, 1996, p. 107)


    Private collection.
    [With]James Graham & Sons, New York.
    Senator James L. Buckley, Connecticut.
    [With]James Graham & Sons, New York.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1981.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property of an Important New York Collection


    R. Isaacson, Frederic Remington: A Painter of American Life, Brooklyn, New York, 1943, n.p., another example illustrated (as The Mountain Trapper).
    H. McCracken, Frederic Remington: Artist of the Old West, New York, 1947, n.p., pl. 44, another example illustrated.
    P. Hassrick, Frederic Remington: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture in the Amon Carter Museum and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Collections, New York, 1973, pp. 194-95, another example illustrated.
    Denver Art Museum, Frederic Remington: The Late Years, exhibition catalogue, Denver, Colorado, 1981, p. 60, another example illustrated.
    M.E. Shapiro, Cast and Recast: The Sculpture of Frederic Remington, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1981, pp. 52, 78-79, 106, another example illustrated.
    M.E. Shapiro and P. Hassrick, Frederic Remington: The Masterworks, New York, 1988, pp. 204-5, pl. 57, another example illustrated.
    J. Ballinger, Frederic Remington, New York, 1989, p. 110, another example illustrated.
    M.D. Greenbaum, Icons of the West: Frederic Remington's Sculpture, Ogdensburg, New York, 1996, pp. 31, 106-12, 192, another example illustrated.
    Gerald Peters Gallery, Remington: The Years of Critical Acclaim, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1998, pp. 104-5, another example illustrated.
    B. Dippie, The Frederic Remington Art Museum Collection, Ogdensburg, New York, 2001, pp. 140-41, another example illustrated.


    New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 1986-April 1987, on loan.
    New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 1998-March 1999, on loan.