Coming Through the Rye by Frederic Remington

Name: Coming Through the Rye | Artist: Frederic Remington Media: Bronze | Year(s): 1902
Frederic Remington | Coming Through the Rye | 1902 | Bronze | Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

About the Work

In 1889 Remington made his debut as a serious painter. In July he was awarded a silver medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris for his painting The Last Lull in the Fight, a signal honor for any American artist. The following September he exhibited another action painting, A Dash for the Timber, at the annual exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York and received warm praise in the press. “This work marks an advance on the part of one of the strongest of our younger artists,” declared the New York Herald. “The drawing is true and strong, the figures of men and horses are in fine action, tearing along at full gallop, the sunshine effect is realistic and the color is good.” Remington was immensely pleased by the reviews—more so because the painting also proved to be the most popular with the visitors to the exhibition. Even today, this masterful painting remains a tour de force of raw action, partly due to Remington’s extraordinary ability to paint horses in rapid motion from almost any angle. In this work, the perception of movement is also reinforced by the artist’s choice of vantage point; the viewer is placed directly in front of the oncoming group, nearly at their level, becoming part of the action. One needs to be reminded that this painting was created a generation before the first western films, yet its visual effect is purely immediate and cinematic. Looking at the individual figures, one may also see the artistic sources for a number of Remington’s later action figures in bronze—particularly The Wounded Bunkie, which is on display nearby.