Frederic Remington (American, 1861–1909)
27 3/4 x 12 x 10 in. (70.5 x 30.5 x 25.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.79)
Remington described The Mountain Man as one of the "old Iriquois [sic] trappers who followed the Fur Companies in the Rocky Mountains in the 30s & 40'ties," probably referring to French Canadian trappers. The sculptor chose a dramatic episode in the daily life of a trapper, his and his mount's descent on an almost vertical slope. Man and horse work together to make the trip down a treacherously rocky decline: the horse has been given full rein to choose its pace and path; the rider leans sharply back and balances himself by holding on to the tail strap with his right hand. Cast by Roman Bronze Works in the lost-wax technique, the earliest of The Mountain Man statuettes are sharply delineated with a rich variety of textures, particularly evident in the fringed buckskin garment, the animal's hairy hide, and the rocklike base. The base was cast separately from the house and rider, and the two units are pinned together through the left hind and right fore hooves.