In Days Gone By, Jim Norton dispenses with the in-the-moment action scene that is his stock in trade for something a bit more poetic, even elegiac. The river here seems to divide past from present, days of plenty from days of hardship and war. At left, a massive herd of buffalo stretches out across a lush plain that rises to undulant mountains. A storm nourishes the plain. At right, conversely, two mounted Indians sit and watch, as if the herd and the land on the opposite bank is a pageant of memory that passes before their minds’ eyes. Two buffalo eye the two braves warily. Even the sky tells part of the tale in Norton’s canvas. Notice how the wind blows from left to right, how the darkness that comes with the storm moves toward the men, almost as an omen.
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