The Norther by Frederic Remington

Name: The Norther | Artist: Frederic Remington Media: Bronze | Year(s): 1900
Frederic Remington | The Norther | 1900 | Bronze | Private Collection

About the Work

The Norther was Remington's first bronze done with the lost-wax casting method, and the first of many bronzes he would do with the Roman Bronze Works foundry, which began business in New York that same year. The great benefit of the lost-wax process, as Remington discovered while producing The Norther, was the ability to get animated textures and extremely fine detail on the finished bronze. Working with the wax intermediary model at the foundry exhilarated Remington. A short time later, when a journalist visited him at the Roman Bronze Works foundry when he was working on one of the wax models, the artist could not contain his enthusiasm. "Just see what can be done with it-isn't it wonderful!," he told the reporter. "You could work on this for days, changing and rechanging as you like-the only limit is your time and patience. Great fun, eh?"

The Norther , of which only three casts were made, was something of a presentation piece, a challenge for the Roman Bronze Works foundry to prove itself in the eyes of the artist. Remington described the bronze as: "A cowboy on horseback in a snow storm. Severe wind blowing from rear. Both man and horse are almost frozen." Looking at the complex, rippling textures of the sculpture, it is not hard to imagine the presence of the brutal, biting wind that envelopes both horse and rider. For unknown reasons, Remington chose not to market The Norther to a broader audience. All three copies were sold from the model in the artist's studio before it was converted into plaster and transported to the foundry for casting. Today it is one of the rarest of all the artist's bronzes.