Sold by the Art Institute of Chicago
1861 - 1909
inscribed Frederic Remington/Copyright by (on the base) and ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y- (along the base); also inscribed No 20 (beneath the base)
bronze with brown and green patina
height: 23 inches (58.4 cm)
Modeled in 1906; cast in 1913.
Kennedy Galleries, New York
Private collection, Ogdensburg, New York (acquired from the above)
Arthur Rubloff, Chicago, Illinois
Bequest to the present owner from the above, 1987
Bruce Wear, The Bronze World of Frederic Remington, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1966, p. 82, illustration of another example p. 83
Harold McCracken, The Frederic Remington Book: A Pictorial History of the West, Garden City, New York, 1966, n.p., illustration of another example fig. 378
Peter Hassrick, Frederic Remington: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture in the Amon Carter Museum and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Collections, New York, 1973, no. 89, p. 203, illustration of another example p. 202
Michael Edward Shapiro, Cast and Recast: The Sculpture of Frederic Remington, Washington, D.C., 1981, pp. 55, 108, illustration of another example, fig. 36
Michael Edward Shapiro and Peter Hassrick, Frederic Remington: The Masterworks, New York, 1988, pp. 231, 267, illustration of another example p. 216
Michael D. Greenbaum, Icons of the West: Frederic Remington's Sculpture, Ogdensburg, New York, 1996, pp. 133-137, 194, illustrations of other examples pp. 134-137
Describing the skilled and daring 'wild riders' of the American West, Frederic Remington once wrote: "Few Eastern people appreciate the sky-rocket bounds, and grunts, and stiff-legged striking...the 'bucking' process is entered into with great spirit by the pony but once, and that is when he is first under the saddle-tree. If that 'scrape' is 'ridden out' by his master the broncho's spirit is broken" (as quoted in Frank Oppel, ed., Frederic Remington, Selected Writings, 1981, p. 201). The Outlaw captures that explosive moment when the "great spirit" of the horse collides with the tenacity of the cowboy.
In his two-dimensional works Remington often depicted the unruly cow ponies in mid-air with all four hooves off the ground. Though an impossible order for a single figure sculpture, Remington nevertheless endeavored to represent the horse in a gravity-defying pose. Riccardo Bertelli, head of the Roman Bronze Works, and his staff clearly overcame the obstacles posed by Remington's design and the resulting sculpture is a study in suspended animation. The hindquarters of the bucking horse are nearly vertical while its rider, with a graceful arch of his back, balances himself in the saddle. With both man and horse perched on a single front hoof, the entire figure appears to float above the base.
With Bertelli's help, Remington was able to take greater advantage of bronze's strength through the use of the lost wax process, which allowed him to create the design for The Outlaw. Remington began working in the lost wax casting method in 1900 when he moved to Roman Bronze Works, a foundry which worked exclusively in this process. The lost wax technique resulted in greater detail and surface texture and also permitted the artist to make changes to his compositions throughout the casting process. Remington would produce an initial clay model in his studio in Rochester, New York and then send that model to Roman Bronze Works to be duplicated in wax. Once the wax model had been created, Remington would go to the foundry to make his final alterations before the bronze casting began.
According to the Roman Bronze Works ledgers, 15 castings of The Outlaw were produced before Frederic Remington’s death in December 1909. Prior to the death of his wife Eva in 1918, approximately 25 additional castings were made.