Edward Borein was born in the small cow town of San Leandro, California and quickly earned a reputation as a skilled artist as he traveled throughout the west documenting daily life he witnessed on odd jobs as a cowboy. In particular, Borein found a wealth of inspiration on trips through Mexico in the late 1890s, a period in which the artist first began experimenting with watercolor. The washes and layering of brushwork allowed by the medium demonstrates the artist's virtuosity as both a draftsman and colorist, as evident in the present work, Indians on Horseback.
Borein continued to travel frequently and settled in New York for several years where he became a proficient printmaker having studied at the Art Student's League. It was during this time he became a close friend of Charles Marion Russell, as well as made lasting acquaintances with Thomas Moran, Carl Oscar Borg, and Frank Tenney Johnson. This exposure brought Borein's work to a broader collecting audience who found in his unique work an intimate and authentic view of life on the Plains that further demonstrated a reverence for the Native American subject. "...For a self-taught artist in this most demanding of mediums, Borein achieved wonders. He can claim his rightful place among the pioneer watercolorists of the West." (H.G. Davidson, Edward Borein: Cowboy Artist, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000, p. 15)