LOT 315

Charles M. Russell


Grizzly at Close Quarters

MEDIUM: Watercolor

DIMENSIONS: 17 x 14 inches

ESTIMATE: $800,000.00 - $1,200,000.00

Signed and dated 1901 with Skull lower left


Additional Information

Recorded in Charles M. Russell: A Catalogue Raisonné: CR.UNL.206.

Collection of J.T. O’Connor, Vancouver, British Columbia
Joe Berlin, Montana
Heffel Galleries, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1980s
Quail Hollow Galleries, Oklahoma City, OK, 1986
Private collection, Montana
Private collection, Canada
Biltmore Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ
Private collection, Florida
The Russell: Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT, 2016
Private collection, Texas

Charles M. Russell was known to paint and sculpt the two opposing identities of bears: the majestic and curious creatures of the forest, and then also the ferocious beasts known to kill and maim men trespassing in the wilderness. Grizzly at Close Quarters falls strictly within the latter depiction. Painted in 1901, this work shows one of Russell’s famous predicament paintings, in which a man has a reckoning with nature, a reckoning that is not resolved within the painting itself. “In the late 1890s Russell began to write and illustrate stories for magazines of outdoor life such as Recreation, Western Field and Stream, and Sports Afield. As his work became better known, his hunting scenes and paintings of wildlife began to attract the patronage of wealthy sportsmen, as well as less well-to-do admirers, who enjoyed the same subjects on postcards, prints and calendars,” writes Russell scholar B. Byron Price. “The element of surprise sets in motion the action portrayed in Grizzly at Close Quarters, as it does in many of Russell’s so-called ‘predicament’ paintings. In this work, a bear suddenly appears behind a prospector and his mule, startling the pair, who are trapped between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place.’ Although the trapper gets off a shot before the bear closes in, Russell, the master storyteller, lets the viewer decide the final outcome of the encounter.”


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Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.

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