LOT 307

Charles M. Russell


A Bronc Twister

MEDIUM: Bronze

DIMENSIONS: 17 3/4 inches H

Signed/CM Russell with Skull

Calif. Art Bronze FDRY L.A.

SHIPPING DIMENSIONS: 19 x 15 x 13 inches - 30 lbs.

SOLD FOR: $222,300.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

Private collection, California
Private collection, Wisconsin

Charles M. Russell: The Artist in His Hayday, Gerald Peters Gallery, published by the Peters Corporation, 1995; illustrated p. 118-119

In Patricia Janis Broder’s monumental book Bronzes of the American West, she compares Frederic Remington’s The Broncho Buster to A Bronc Twister, arguably Charles M. Russell’s most iconic bronze sculpture. “In Remington’s sculpture, the cowboy is the conquering hero, whereas in Russell’s, the horse is the object of admiration.” She uses a 1916 letter from Russell, full of language not used today, to illustrate this point: “An Injun once told me that bravery came from the hart not the head. If my red brother is right Bronk riders and bull dogers are all hart above the wast band but its a good bet theres nothing under there hat but hair.”

When the Met exhibited Western bronzes in late 2013, comparisons between The Broncho Buster and A Bronc Twister (originally called The Weaver) again resurfaced, this time from Western scholar Peter Hassrick, who wrote that Russell’s bronze was “in a sense…a statement of dissent” against Remington’s work. “Though not cast until two years after Remington’s death in 1909, [A Bronc Twister] had in fact been inspired in 1904, during Russell’s first visit to New York. At that time he painted a remarkably true-to-life watercolor, A Bad Hoss, that was illustrated in Scribner’s with the subtitle, ‘A cowboy riding a horse known as a weaver.’ It was probably watercolors such as this that empowered Western historian Emerson Hough in 1908 and Texas photographer Erwin Smith in 1909 to favor Russell over Remington and attack the latter as a charlatan. Hough accused Remington of having spawned a whole class of Eastern artists who knew nothing about the West, while Smith lambasted The Broncho Buster as ill-informed and incorrectly posed,” Hassrick wrote in The American West in Bronze. “Russell, in contrast, was lauded as the only artist who, in works like A Bad Hoss, had ‘truthfully caught the cowboy and painted him in action as he is.’ Now, with A Bronc Twister, it was Russell’s turn to portray the bronco buster as faithfully in bronze as he had in paint. The result was a masterpiece in animal motion and a thoroughly three-dimensional work.”


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