2009 Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2009 Catalog > 11. Rindisbacher/McKenney & Hall, “Hunting the Buffaloe.”



11. [After Peter Rindisbacher]. “Hunting the Buffaloe” from History of the Indian Tribes by Mckenney and Hall (Philadelphia: E.C. Biddle, 1837). Lithograph with original hand color after the painting by Peter Rindisbacher. Image: 9 X 15 3/8." Frame: 18 1/2 x 23 1/2." Fine.

Price: $4,500. [ Order ]

Since the time he lived (1806–1834) and worked, Peter Rindisbacher”s artwork has been widely reproduced to illustrate early North American frontier life. Rindisbacher worked as an artist on the western frontier well before George Catlin, Alfred Jacob Miller and Karl Bodmer. The buffalo hunt was a popular theme and Rindisbacher made several versions. Reportedly, Governor Bulger of Manitoba at one time organized a buffalo hunting party for Rindisbacher to depict. The present lithograph Hunting the Buffaloe was drawn from a painting by Rindisbacher of Blackfeet hunters, and was published in Mckenney and Hall”s important History of the Indian Tribes, in 1837. The image proved very popular, and many artists who followed used Rindisbacher”s image as a model when creating their own buffalo hunting scenes.

Born in Switzerland, the young Peter Rindisbacher displayed such a talent for art that he was excused from farm work and briefly studied with the miniature painter Jacob S. Weibel. His family immigrated to Canada when Peter was fifteen, settling in the Red River Colony, a farming community. Rindisbacher was soon selling his paintings and sketches to employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In time, requests for his artworks came in from abroad, and in London, Rindisbacher’s work was reproduced though lithography. During this period, Rindisbacher created unprecedented depictions of the various indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes area, including the Sioux, Chippewa, Assiniboine, Ojibwa, and others. In 1826, a flood destroyed much of the Red River Colony and the Rindisbachers moved on to Wisconsin. There, the Indian Commissioner Caleb Atwater purchased a number of Peter”s paintings and hired him to record the Indian treaty gathering at Prairie du Chien in 1829. In the same year, Rindisbacher moved to St. Louis and established a successful landscape and portraiture business, while continuing to depict scenes of frontier life. Lithographs and engravings reproducing his artwork were published for several years in the American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine. Rindisbacher died in St. Louis in 1834, at the age of twenty-eight.

Peter Rindisbacher”s artworks are included in many important collections, including the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, the Denver Art Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum, the United States Military Academy Museum at West Point, the Hudson”s Bay Company in Winnipeg, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Royal Ontario Museum, the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, the Archives of Manitoba the Glenbow Institute, and the McCord Museum of Canadian History.

Refs: Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., The Artist was a Young Man (1970); Samuels Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West.

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