Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin by Frederic Remington

Name: Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin | Artist: Frederic Remington Media: Oil on canvas | Year(s): 1909
Frederic Remington | Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin | 1909 | Oil on canvas | 30 1/8 inches x 51 1/8 inches

About the Work

Remington (and his critics) had always doubted his color sense. After 1900 he discovered the joys of applying paint freely, stroking more boldly and allowing his own sense of light and shadow to dictate his palette. Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin is a riot of sunstruck hues—yellow ochres, warm browns, rusts and reds—sweeping across the canvas with an abandon to match that of the racing riders. Remington wanted to give the viewer the sensation of light, sun, air and speed, writing, "I have always wanted to be able to paint running horses so you would feel the details and not see them." This brilliantly colored painting shows the same big sky and enough open range to chase buffalo as much as the American Indians desired. Painted in the last year of his life, Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin marks a high point in Remington's constant attempt to push the technical and stylistic boundaries of his art, and it expresses the freedom of Indigenous Americans before the diminished buffalo herds changed their cultures forever.