Raiding parties tended to be small, and since the object was horses, not battle, the ideal raid was one in which the horses were taken without alerting the owners. The Native Americans in Trouble Hunters bristle with weapons—shields and lances, bows and arrows, a rifle and knives—suggesting they are scouts sent in advance of a large party that is prepared to fight. Apparently the men have spotted something and are waiting for the others to catch up. Russell often set scenes like this at day’s end, basking the Native Americans in the sun’s fading warmth, symbols of Russell’s own nostalgia for the vanished West. Here, although the sky is roseate and the setting sun washes the men in pinks and reds, the men appear lean, tough, and full of fight.
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Artist: Charles M. Russell Year Completed: 1902 Medium: Oil on canvas Dimensions: 22 x 29.125 inches