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Fired On

1907 Frederic Remington Born: Canton, New York 1861 Died: Ridgefield, Connecticut 1909 oil on canvas 27 1/8 x 40 in. (68.8 x 101.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of William T. Evans 1910.9.13 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, North Wing


Gallery Label

Fired On captures the fear and adrenaline of an ambush in the West. In the colorless murk before dawn, the light of the moon makes a white horse and his rider a target for an unseen enemy. A contemporary reviewer commented that "you would somehow like them to retreat—or advance—or do something that would bring matters to a head." By 1907 Remington had made the transition from popular illustrator to respected artist, and this was the first painting of his to be acquired by an American museum. Despite his successes, this was the period in which he painted many canvases that evoked darkness and unidentifiable dangers. The artist often spoke during these years of feeling as though he were under attack. The mythical West had been tamed, and his own culture in the East seemed threatened by waves of European immigrants. He referred to Anglo-Saxon urban Americans like himself as "his tribe," in danger of extinction.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Keywords

Equestrian

Figure(s) in exterior - frontier

Figure(s) in exterior - military

Landscape - time - night

Landscape - water

State of being - evil - war

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas