A Figure of the Night (The Sentinel) by Frederic Remington

Name: A Figure of the Night (The Sentinel) | Artist: Frederic Remington Media: Oil on canvas | Year(s): 1908
Frederic Remington | A Figure of the Night (The Sentinel) | 1908 | Oil on canvas | 30 inches x 21 1/8 inches

About the Work

Rather than dominate the scene, the Indigenous American in A Figure of the Night blends into the surrounding environment. One can see him as a lookout, camouflaged by the trees behind, wearing a worried expression. Perhaps he is a boy doing a man's job. The shadows on the snow in front of him and the dark woods behind encircle him like the jaws of a giant trap. There is imminent danger here and it is up to the viewer looking out from the woods to guess what it might be. The story, in short, is in the viewer's head, not in the picture, and by 1908, Remington thought that the distinction was everything.