The Mountain Man

Artist: Frederic Remington (American, Canton, New York 1861–1909 Ridgefield, Connecticut)

Date: 1903, cast by March 1907

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 27 3/4 x 12 x 10 in. (70.5 x 30.5 x 25.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907

Accession Number: 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 [18]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.