On the Southern Plains

Frederic Remington (American, Canton, New York 1861–1909 Ridgefield, Connecticut)
Oil on canvas
30 1/8 x 51 1/8in. (76.5 x 129.9cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Several Gentlemen, 1911
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 765
One of Remington’s favorite themes was the American soldier in the West, of whom he wrote, “His heroism is called duty, and it probably is.” Here, soldiers led by a scout in buckskin charge an unseen enemy. Although the painting was probably meant to refer to the war against the Plains Indians in the 1860s—Remington titled it "Cavalry in Sixties"—the uniforms and weapons date variously from the time of the Civil War through the 1870s. The artist was willing to depart from reality in other details as well. For example, the horses and riders are shown as a dynamic mass rather than in a straight horizontal line, which was the usual attack formation.
#4586. On the Southern Plains
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Signature: [at lower right]: Frederic Remington / 1907

Inscription: [at lower center]: Copyright 1907 P.F. Collier & Son
the artist's wife, Eva Caten Remington, 1909–1910; subscribers to a fund for its presentation to the museum (A. Barton Hepburn, Augustus Thomas, James Wall Finn, Harry Folsom, John C. R. Mygatt, W.B. Wheelock, Mrs. G.P. Hilton, William T. Evans, George M. Wright, Samuel T. Shaw, Ray L. Skofield, and Henry Smith), 1911