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Artifacts of History

Charles Marion Russell - Death Song 1912 7.75" x 5.75"

Charles Marion Russell - Death Song 1912 7.75" x 5.75"

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Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926)
Death Song, 1912

Pen and ink with watercolor
Paper: 7.75” x 5.75”
Frame: 11.5” x 9.5”

Signed Center with Artist’s Skull Device: C M Russell / 1912

An Indigenous American man huddles in a warm cloak, the somber expression on his face possibly reflecting a weariness or resignation in the face of death. The title of this work references a death song, which was performed by a wounded soldier when they believed death was soon upon them. The dramatic shadowing of the subject’s high cheekbones adds to the quiet intensity of the moment. Below the figure is the artist’s signature and a sketch of a cow skull, an iconic image of the American west, with which Russell had deep interest in and typically included as an extension of his signature.

Private Collection, Canada
Private Collection, Utah, from above

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