In 1889 Frederic Remington painted a mammoth oil titled A Dash for the Timber showing a band of cowboys racing pell-mell for safety with Apaches hot on their heels. The painting is a dazzling exercise in Wild West theatrics and Remington drove home the point by having all the onrushing cowboys part around the viewer except for one who, coming hell bent for leather, is shown straight on. Russell occasionally painted similar groups of trappers or cowboys in full flight from pursuing warriors, the action sweeping across the picture at an angle, usually from right to left. On the Attack is a carefully painted and vigorous version; its riderless horses and desperate faces tell a dramatic tale. But none of Russell’s paintings on the theme remotely rivals A Dash for the Timber. Suffice it to say, Remington owned the subject.
On The Attack
Artist: Charles M. Russell Year Completed: 1901 Medium: Watercolor, pencil & gouache on paper Dimensions: 11.625 x 17.625 inches