Frederic Remington (1861-1909) The Rattlesnake 24 3/4in high (Modeled in 1904, cast in 1913.)

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Lot 144
Frederic Remington
(1861-1909)
The Rattlesnake 24 3/4in high

Sold for US$ 150,075 inc. premium
Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
The Rattlesnake
inscribed 'Copyright By / Frederick Remington' (on the base), 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y-' (along the base) and 'No32' (on the underside)
bronze with dark brown patina
24 3/4in high
Modeled in 1904, cast in 1913.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Property from the Estate of Barron Hilton, Beverly Hills, California.

    Literature
    B. Wear, The Bronze World of Frederic Remington, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1966, p. 78, illustration of another example p. 79.
    H. McCracken, The Frederic Remington Book: A Pictorial History of the West, Garden City, New York, 1966, illustration of another example fig. 374.
    P. Hassrick, Frederic Remington: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture in the Amon Carter Museum and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Collections, New York, 1973, no. 88, p. 200, illustration of another example p. 201.
    P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1974, illustration of another example p. 128.
    M.E. Shapiro, Cast and Recast: The Sculpture of Frederic Remington, Washington, D.C., 1981, p. 110, illustrations of other examples figs. 49-50.
    M.E. Shapiro and P. Hassrick, Frederic Remington: The Masterworks, New York, 1988, pp. 67, 210, 211, illustration of another example p. 213.
    M.D. Greenbaum, Icons of the West: Frederic Remington's Sculpture, Ogdensburg, New York, 1996, pp. 123-128, 197, illustrations of other examples pp. 124-128.

    Frederic Remington first modeled The Rattlesnake in 1904, exploring the technical problems of such a complex and active composition, adding the additional challenge of twisting the horse beneath itself as it recoils from the snake. As Peter Hassrick wrote in Frederic Remington: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture in the Amon Carter Museum and The Sid W. Richardson Foundation Collections: 'The Rattlesnake (sometimes referred to as The Snake in the Path) is Remington's most graceful, sculptural rendition of the bucking horse in motion. The powerful thrust of the frightened horse and the desperate counterbalancing of the rider are expressed with a vigorous sweep and flow that make this bronze both eloquent and powerful. All movement and attention focus on a central point. All lines within the swirling configuration are directed toward one thing, the inconspicuous but deadly rattler in the foreground.'

    The Rattlesnake was first copyrighted in 1905 and then re-worked by the artist three years later in a larger version. Michael Greenbaum notes that "the rearing bronc and rider, posed masterfully in a spiraling sweep of motion, became one of Remington's most popular works. The artist's 'marvelous knowledge of anatomy, action and expression' were strikingly infused in the bronze's unfolding drama."

    The noted author James Barnes visited with Frederic Remington at the Roman Bronze Works foundry while the artist was overseeing casting of work. In his 1905 article Frederic Remington—Sculptor for Collier's Magazine, Barnes describes Remington's delight as he works and molds the wax snake that would become the subject in his iconic work The Rattlesnake: "For instance, something was said about the position of the rattlesnake in a wax model of his frightened pony. Mr. Remington decided to change it; the string of wax that represented the snake was bent and curved and again replaced; this time the effect seemed more pleasing. 'Great fun,' isn't it, he said. Just see what can be done with it—isn't it wonderful!'" Barnes further called The Rattlesnake "the work of a master's hand."
Contacts
Frederic Remington (1861-1909) The Rattlesnake 24 3/4in high (Modeled in 1904, cast in 1913.)
Frederic Remington (1861-1909) The Rattlesnake 24 3/4in high (Modeled in 1904, cast in 1913.)
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