383

Friends

Currency:USD Category:Art Start Price:NA Estimated At:30,000.00 - 50,000.00 USD
Friends
Friends
Artist: Deas, CharlesDate of Birth: 1818-1867
Medium: Watercolor
Dimensions: 7 1/2 x 9 inches
Signed: Signed lower right and dated 1843
Verso:

One of the first generations of American artists to go West and paint the West, Charles Deas’s family originally wanted him to attend West Point. But though he failed to secure an appointment, his time along the Hudson awakened the artist in him. Inspired by an exhibition of George Catlin’s work to take up the brush, he ventured to St. Louis. Deas took up with U.S. Army expeditions, not as a soldier, but as an artist. Deas moved up and down the Missouri River country, dressed, as a young soldier wrote, in a “broad white hat, a loose dress, and sundry traps and tack hanging about his saddle, like a fur-hunter.” He made his bases in frontier outposts such as Fort Crawford, Fort Snelling, Fort Winnebago, and Fort Leavenworth. In 1848, mysteriously, Deas succumbed to mental illness and spent the remainder of his life in an institution in New York. As such, his paintings, much prized, are scarce and scarcely ever come to market. Dated 1843, Friends may well come from a trip Deas took to the Sioux country in the Upper Mississippi during a meeting of various bands to ratify a treaty. As the nineteenth century biographer Henry Tuckerman wrote, Deas “remained a week or two on a beautiful sloping prairie, dotted with the conical lodgings of the race of Indians who make such regions their home.” Signed and dated lower right, Deas also inscribed the work, “Sioux awaiting the return of friends.” Three generations in repose on a beautiful day under a vast sky await their friends. The youngest waves while the eldest dreams. The war club rests offhandedly in the grass—this is not a day for strife.
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