Russell Painting Ropes $ 1.7 million in Reno


RENO, NEV. – “Roping A Wolf,” an adrenaline-pumping frontier painting by Charles M Russell (1864-1926) sold for $ 1,770,000 at the July 31st Coeur d’Alene Art Auction.

The oil on canvas dates from 1904, a defining moment for the artist. The auction house wrote: “On visiting New York for the first time in December 1903, Russell’s extended trip greatly influenced the artist and he returned to Montana in 1904 with a new sense of confidence in his abilities. artistic. This watershed moment marks what many scholars believe to be the beginning of the period in which he created his greatest works. Russell’s highly sought-after works from this period are the highlight of many museum and private collections.

A specialist on the artist, Frederic G. Renner, included and wrote about the work in its 1986 title Charles M. Russell: Paintings, drawings and sculptures at the Amon Carter Museum.

Renner wrote: “With the destruction of their natural prey, the buffalo, the wolves turned to the white man’s cattle, and these parasites quickly became a serious problem for early Montana cowherds. Various means for their destruction have been tried. Some ranchers employed “wolves” to trap and poison animals during the winter. John Harris, a prominent breeder from Fort Benton, imported a pack of dogs, but one winter the wolves became so hungry and daring that they turned on the dogs and brought them all back to the safety of the ranch. The cowboys, encouraged by the bonus almost equal to a week’s salary, roped them up for fun.

The work had a chain of provenance that went from artist to Leslie’s weekly publisher John A. Sleicher, to Mary Sleicher, to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and finally to a private collection.

A full review of the sale, which grossed $ 17.5 million in total, will appear in an upcoming issue.


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