Although he never claims to have seen one, few painted the buffalo hunt more successfully than Russell, whose love of the old West found expression in dozens of paintings on this single theme. At first he tended to isolate one mounted hunter and one buffalo, usually shown broadside to minimize perspective difficulties and keep the subject simple. The Buffalo Runners is unusually ambitious. It exhibits a fine feel for the terrain, especially the steep drop to the river where the herd is crossing in the distance. However, the central action is less effective. Since the average Blackfoot required at least three arrows to down a buffalo, he would hardly have been able to wound three animals, even in a prolonged chase, unless he was a phenomenal hunter.
The Buffalo Runners
Artist: Charles M. Russell Year Completed: c. 1892 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 27.625 x 39.375 inches