Deer in landscape oil on canvas 17 x 22in overall: 25 x 30in
PROVENANCE: Collection of John E. Ehnes, Simms, Montana Property from the Robert M. Scriver Estate Coeur D'Alene Auction, July 29, 2000, lot 70 Collection of Margie and Robert E. Petersen, Beverly Hills, California
EXHIBITED: Great Falls, Montana, Trigg-C.M. Russell Foundation, Inc., August 12, 1965.
Charles Marion Russell had little interest in staying at school as a boy growing up in St. Louis. To him the romantic visions of the West were calling, so he left home for Montana around 1880. His parents paid for the journey and sent him to a friend's ranch in the Judith Basin area. He befriended Jake Hoover, a trapper and hunter, and spent two years with him in the Judith Basin. Hoover taught him the habits of animals and how to survive as well as respect and appreciate the great outdoors. He frequently sketched the animals and scenes that he was witnessing throughout this time. Two years later he was hired as a cowboy to keep watch on horses, and later as a night hawk to watch the cattle at night. Russell loved Montana and remained there for the next 46 years. In the early 1900's, Russell and his wife Nancy visited Yellowstone National Park. He was enamored with the park, as it was a haven for wild animals, and strongly opposed the idea of hunting for sport. Deer in Landscape reflects a vision of daily life for the artist during those early wide-eyed years in Montana. He must have been witness to such iconic scenes on a daily basis. This painting reflects the artist's love and admiration of Western wildlife and gives us a marvelous glimpse of life in Montana at the turn of the last century.