Before the 20th century, Western American Art was seen as deplorable, undesirable, and unworthy art; yet, during that time, it rose to legitimacy as a rewarding field of study. It is an art that represents themes relating to the Western American region.
Western American Wild West art relies more on theme than style for the narrative. Because it is a native art, it differs from European art because it lacks components from other continents. Cowboys and American Indians are two common topics that make up a significant portion of Western American artwork, depicting both groups' daily lives and activities.
What Makes Wild West Art So Popular?
Throughout art history, Wild West art has had periods of both prosperity and undervaluation.
Its popularity in Western art had roots in the 19th century when cowboy and western paintings used figurative and landscape elements to tell their fair share of tales. The struggle of men, women, as well as children at that time, is vividly shown in Wild West art.
Some painters replicated the magnificent images using narratives, wars, and historical agreements as their sources of inspiration. In contrast, others took the effects of all the anguish brought on by the common people to paint their canvases. But the fact that Wild West art developed more skillfully than anybody could have ever imagined remained at the heart of both sentiments.
As more individuals search for opportunities to use their imaginations and leave their daily lives behind, the popularity of these subjects is rising. Because of the authenticity of the details, these paintings were appreciated as historical resources in the nineteenth century. Today, people not only like this era and its personalities but also have a newfound respect for the art created during that time.
This has increased demand for original works of art with this topic and increased the production of copies so that people may display them in their homes or workplaces.
Who Are the Artists Behind These Pieces?
Western American art was not seen as significant before the 20th century as it is now. Moreover, the paintings associated with western America were said to be of poor quality and unsuitable for serious study. Therefore, some authors began investigating a national art that would speak for the New World rather than the Old since they wanted to differentiate from Europe in cultural and political aspects.
The topics of paintings in the eighteenth century were mostly heroic landscapes, and the painters sought to depict the scene as they appeared in the paintings accurately. Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington (regarded as being of the most prominent Western illustrators of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) are two well-known cowboy painters whose paintings are still for sale today.
Their work is renowned for its realism and use of color. In addition, these artists were intimately involved in certain pivotal occasions when the Western American image started getting recognition.
Charles Marion Russell
Charles Marion Russell, popularly referred to as "Kid Russell", was a cowboy on a ranch before becoming a painter of the American Old West. He had an edge in his painting career because of his cowboy upbringing since he was conversant with the cowboy way of life and was well equipped to document the western philosophy in which he was immersed.
He produced over 2000 artworks of cowboys, Native Americans, and Western landscapes. He was not recognized as a skilled cowboy throughout his cowboy career but as a narrator and painter who presented himself via the arts and literary poetry. Russell stayed committed to the Old West and the West before white civilization was forced on it, even after he attained fame and notoriety.
Russell's creative creations included various topics, including Western everyday life, historical events, and traditional cowboy pursuits. However, they tended to emphasize the West's wildlife and inhabitants more than its natural scenery.
American painter Frederic Remington is regarded as one of the most eloquent portrayers of Western themes. His paintings mostly focus on western American themes, particularly cowboys and Indians, during the turn of the 20th century. Nevertheless, he had a key role in certain pivotal events shaping Western Americans' perception.
To depict the wild and natural qualities of the West, Remington maintained a feeling of suspense and tension in his artistic creations. In just over 30 years of his painting life, Remington produced more than 3000 paintings illustrating themes from the American West. These paintings have gained tremendous popularity in today's world.
The surroundings these two artists observed while traveling across the Wild West would have served as inspiration for the painters who produced the pieces during the height of Wild West art. This would have included the surroundings and the locals. It's crucial to remember that Wild West art encompasses more than just cowboys and Native Americans.
Themes in Wild West Art
Landscapes that capture the region's untamed beauty might be used as themes in Wild West art. However, they are frequently vibrant, and the painters' inspiration for them came from the locals and the wildlife that inhabits this region of the nation.
Real-life figures from the Wild West, such as cowboys, Indians, and settlers, may also be portrayed in Wild West art. Animals that are native to the region, such as buffalo, deer, and bears, may be shown in the American Wild West paintings. The topics in Wild West art can overlap, and an artist may include people, landscapes, and wildlife in the same painting.
The demand for Wild West art among collectors is enormous, and new works are produced daily. As a result, the popularity of this topic will likely increase over time and eventually surpass that of the previous Wild West art era.
There is something for everyone, given the wide range of alternatives. Any house or workplace would benefit significantly from having them.