Sculptor - Charles M. Russell
Title - Indian "Good Medicine"
Lost Wax Cast Bronze
5 5/8"height by 8 1/2" length
((14.3 cm by 21.5 cm))
Charlie Russell was well known for his love and admiration of the native American Indians. His most famous paintings show the Indians as they really lived and Russell was an artist who had a unique opportunity in that he actually lived the life he depicts in his paintings and sculptures.
Russell was one of the best sculptors of the American West, rivaling Remington, yet with a more simple naive and less formal style. His sculptures capture a moment in time and are smaller and less complicated than the large works done by Remington. Russell carried a piece of beeswax with him for most of his life and enjoyed modeling quick sketches of animals and people.
Many of his sculptures were not cast in bronze during his lifetime because of the high cost of foundry work and because there were no bronze foundries close to him. So his small works were mostly preserved in the original wax or clay models until they were later cast in bronze. Homer Britzman was instrumental in producing casts from these models in the 1940s and 1950s, and others such as Findlay Galleries also cast editions in bronze.
This sculpture shows an Indian wrapped in his robe or blanket sitting and looking at a Bison Skull. The title “Good Medicine” is written on the blanket at the Indian’s back. It seems Russell is telling a story with the Indian contemplating the loss of the Bison from his way of life. It is an interesting model and a good Western subject.