Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
Frederic Remington (1861-1909)

A Hunting Man (In Full Pursuit: H.L. Herbert Taking a Wall)

Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
A Hunting Man (In Full Pursuit: H.L. Herbert Taking a Wall)
signed 'Frederic Remington.' and dated twice 'Copyright. 1890-' (lower right)
oil on canvas
33 x 23 ¼ in. (83.8 x 59.1 cm.)
Henry Lloyd Herbert, the sitter.
Estate of the above, 1921.
The Meadow Brook Club, Jericho, New York, 1923.
[With]Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York.
John H. Surovek Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, acquired from the above, 1987.
Private collection, acquired from the above, 1987.
By descent to the present owners.
P.H. Hassrick, M.J. Webster, Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings, vol. I, Cody, Wyoming, 1996, p. 359, no. 1166, illustrated.
Palm Beach, Florida, John H. Surovek Gallery, Recent Gallery Masterworks, November-December 1987.

Lot Essay

Celebrated as the artist who shaped popular culture's vision of the West, Frederic Remington enjoyed a successful artistic career which began in illustration. After briefly attending Yale College School of Art in the late 1870s, Remington made his first trip West in the summer of 1881, traveling through Montana. Working for Harpers, the artist was given his first formal assignment in 1886 to travel to Arizona in order to report on the campaign to apprehend Apache chief Geronimo, a pursuit and subsequent capture that drew significant news coverage at the time. Although Remington's formal art training was limited, his drawings and paintings are known for their masterful execution. Yet, "whatever academic excellence may be attributed to what he accomplished in paint, ink, clay and bronze, is transcended by its value as a documentary record and contribution to the early history of our great West. His work constitutes one of the most complete pictorializations of that most spectacular phase of the American scene." (H. McCracken, Frederic Remington: Artist of the Old West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1947, p. 21)

A woodcut of A Hunting Man (In Full Pursuit: H.L. Herbert Taking a Wall) was used as an illustration in Colonel Theodore Ayrault Dodge’s article, “Some American Riders,” which was published in Harper’s Monthly in August 1891. The work depicts a confident and poised foxhunter gracefully bounding over a stone wall in pursuit of his prize. The model for the rider was Henry Lloyd Herbert, who served as Chairmen of the Polo Association from 1890 to 1921 and helped found the Meadow Brook Club on Long Island. In “Some American Riders,” Dodge expounds on the progress of American horseback riders, specifically as it relates to hunting, polo and racing. In reference to fox hunting Dodge writes, “This sport has shown us what excellent material we have in this country for hunters. Our American horses have done better across our country than the expensive imported English and Irish ones. The difficulty of acclimation has something to do with this; but few things have shown the adaptability of our stock to work better than the number of horses of trotting blood that have turned out fast gallopers, big timber jumpers, and stayers besides.” (“Some American Riders,” Harper’s Monthly, August 1891, p. 368) For those who doubt the capabilities of the American rider, Dodge concludes, “But give Americanism a chance, especially in horsemanship. We have no cause to be ashamed of what we have in horses, nor of what we can do in the saddle.” (“Some American Riders,”, p. 373) A Hunting Man reveals Remington’s ability to capture action and intrigue while vividly bringing to life a compelling narrative for an appreciative public.

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