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The Cheyenne

The Cheyenne
inscribed 'Copyright by/Frederic Remington' and stamped 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y.' (on the base)—inscribed '17' (under the base)
bronze with dark greenish-brown patina
21 in. (53.3 cm.) high
Modeled in 1901.
Carl Dentzel, Los Angeles, California.
Estate of the above.
Private collection, Colorado.
Private collection, Wyoming, 2006.
Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Christie's, New York, 20 May 2009, lot 32, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
P. Hassrick, Frederic Remington: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture in the Amon Carter Museum and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Collections, New York, 1973, pp. 192-93, another example illustrated.
M.E. Shapiro, Cast and Recast: The Sculpture of Frederic Remington, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1981, pp. 73-76, another example illustrated.
M.E. Shapiro, P. Hassrick, Frederic Remington: The Masterworks, New York, 1988, pp. 193, 195, 198-99, 210, 214, 227, pl. 55, another example illustrated.
J. Ballinger, Frederic Remington, New York, 1989, p. 105, another example illustrated.
R. Stewart, Frederic Remington: Masterpieces from the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 1992, pp. 34-35, another example illustrated.
M.D. Greenbaum, Icons of the West: Frederic Remington’s Sculpture, Ogdensburg, New York, 1996, pp. 88-93, 185, another example illustrated.
Gerald Peters Gallery, Remington: The Years of Critical Acclaim, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1998, pp. 98-99, another example illustrated.
B. Dippie, The Frederic Remington Art Museum Collection, Ogdensburg, New York, 2001, pp. 132-35, another example illustrated.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

Among the most famous of Western bronzes is Frederic Remington's sixth bronze model, The Cheyenne, a masterful example of the artist's skill at capturing the vitality and action of a horse and rider in mid-stride. Prior to the creation of The Cheyenne, the animal image had been interpreted as a stationary form in bronze. Always striving to perfect his craft and push the limitations of the medium, in the present work Remington employ his inventiveness to capture an exceptional balance of movement and form not previously seen in any other sculptor's work, and thereby established a new standard for capturing dynamic imagery in a three-dimensional format.

The Cheyenne was Remington's second model depicting an Indian and one of the first sculptures he conceived for casting exclusively at Roman Bronze Works. Completed and copyrighted in 1901, the bronze was cast with the lost-wax technique, which allowed the sculptor to model highly textured surfaces. In total, approximately twenty casts were produced in the artist’s lifetime and about 70 were produced posthumously. Although the present work is numbered 17, it was likely produced shortly after the artist’s passing as indicated by the straight rear fetlocks which were incorporated only after his death.

This tour de force of balance and casting, with all four of the horse's hooves off the ground, reflects the joint artistic and technical efforts on the part of the sculptor and foundrymen. Indeed, the artist’s desire to have all four feet of the horse removed from the base became a test for Roman Bronze Works founder, Riccardo Bertelli. "'I very much want to preserve the effect of the action,' [Remington] penned. Bertelli complied. '[Remington] always wanted to have his horses with all four feet off the ground,' the founder said in an interview, years after The Cheyenne and later bronzes had been cast. The collaboration between the two men on The Cheyenne was their finest. Remington's quest for fluidity and motion and Bertelli's technical skills coalesced in a work that elevated the talents of each. The bronze was Remington's first model to be cast in one piece." (as quoted in M. Greenbaum, Icons of the West: Frederic Remington's Sculpture, Ogdensburg, New York, 1996, p. 89)

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