American Indian courtship especially intrigued Russell in the 1890s. It was common practice for an unmarried man to take his horse to water, then loiter by the stream to admire, and be admired by, a young woman who had caught his fancy. Russell’s bold suitor has obviously decided to take the direct approach and has found an American Indian maiden who is, for once, without her chaperone. He surprises her with his attempt at courtship—but perhaps the young man’s attentions will actually be welcome. Sid Richardson found romantic appeal in The Marriage Ceremony and it hung over his bed in his home on San Jose Island, suggesting a truly sentimental side beneath his gruff exterior.
The Marriage Ceremony (Indian Love Call)
Artist: Charles M. Russell Year Completed: 1894 Medium: Oil on cardboard Dimensions: 18.5 x 24.625 inches