Biography and Childhood of The Remington Artist

Frederic Remington is the artist most commonly associated with themes of the American West in the last decades of the 19th century. His works of art-drawings, paintings, sculptures, and writings-depict many facets of frontier life in a realistic and highly-detailed manner, including cowboys training broncos, cavalrymen engaged in combat, Native American warriors, and scouts. 

His striking depictions of early frontiersmen, Indians, cowboys, and Indians in sculpture, sketches, and paintings are now widely recognized as visual records of American history’s most vibrant and virulent period.

A well-known family welcomed Frederic Remington into the world on October 4, 1861, in Canton, New York. He was connected to cowboy sculptor Earl W. Bascom. Frederic grew up hearing tales from his father about his time serving in the cavalry during the Civil War. As a result, early Frederic Remington’s art consisted of sketching and painting mounted troops in battle gear.

Love for the West

Remington learned how to tell a narrative to show his romanticized picture of the West and its challenges from his father, who had a newspaper company.

From an early age, he was attracted to Western life and the great outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and hiking. Frederic Remington enrolled in Yale’s School of Fine Arts in 1878 because his father anticipated that he would complete a collegiate education. Unfortunately, a year or so into his studies, his father passed away, and at that point, he moved to Montana to experience ranch life.

He was merely there for two months before he departed and bought a sheep ranch in Kansas with a small inheritance. Then, after just one year, Remington married Eva Adele Caten, his childhood sweetheart, and relocated to Kansas City, where he invested in a hardware shop and a tavern.

The Remingtons returned to Brooklyn, New York, in 1885 after deciding they did not love the harsh life in the West. Frederic spent much of his time traveling to Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico rather than studying briefly at the Art Students League institute. He was rising to fame as an artist for periodicals like Harpers and the serialized essays by Theodore Roosevelt for Century Magazine. 

Most of the content consisted of his legendary illustrations of the Western frontier, cowboys, and soldiers. He would even send himself on reporting trips to the West, leading to several pieces that Frederic Remington wrote and drew. At the prestigious National Academy of Design show in 1888, he took home the Hallgarten and Clark prize. He received the silver medal at the Paris International Exposition the following year.

A Move to Painting

Remington also switched from illustration to watercolor and oil painting in the middle of the 1880s. Again, Remington had to put forth the effort to master the nuances of color to transition from magazine illustrator to fine artist, a feat he found challenging. 

Frederic Remington – The Song of Hiawatha illustration

Nevertheless, he remained committed to studying Western themes, utilizing sketches and photographs taken on repeated forays into the frontier as inspiration for more substantial pieces he finished in his studio in New Rochelle, New York. 

Many of the distinctive characteristics of Remington’s western paintings from this period, such as narrative, solid substance, male vigor, and realistic detail, are shown to be on display in his oil artwork, A Dash for the Timber (1889), which shows cowboys escaping from Native warriors while mounted.

In one of the most famous Frederic Remington paintings, a nighttime image, The Old Stagecoach of the Plains, which was painted around 1900, he experimented with a quieter and more constrained palette. Remington had a steady income from Collier’s after being given an exclusive contract in 1903 to produce a painting for each magazine issue.

Work in Bronze Commences

Frederic Remington, the cowboy artist, started studying sculpture in the middle of the 1890s and swiftly became a master of it. His earliest attempts were made utilizing the time-honored sand-casting technique. But after learning about the lost wax technique, he used it for all of his subsequent castings.

Remington put his sculptures on hold in 1898 to report on the Spanish-American War for Harper’s and the New York Journal from Cuba as a war reporter and illustrator.

He saw American soldiers headed by Theodore Roosevelt and others attack San Juan Hill. Remington was profoundly disappointed by the realities of war and how horrific rather than heroic it was due to this encounter. Upon his return, he withdrew to a resort he owned on an island in the St. Lawrence River for a period of recovery.

He created some of his most remarkable sculptures in this location. He became renowned for his works’ attention to detail, dynamic movement, and lifelike depictions of his themes. These were amazing Frederic Remington art features.


Sculptor Remington created over 3,000 drawings and paintings, 22 bronze sculptures, a novella, a Broadway play, more than 100 essays, and tales during a career that lasted fewer than 25 years. The direct inspiration for John Ford’s movie “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” came from Remington artwork. In addition, one of Frederic Remington paintings was used as the “Marlboro Man” in the well-known cigarette advertisement.

Aside from locations like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, and others, Remington’s paintings may be found in the Remington Art Memorial in Ogdensburg, New York.


His legacy is less about the things he went through on his adventures and more about the great characters who helped establish the West and their life-or-death fights. He told Americans tales about the independence, bravery, and optimism they desired to see in themselves. 

Even though he barely spent a year in the West, he is regarded as America’s most well-known nineteenth-century artist and instilled a love of the region. Following an urgent appendectomy, Frederic Remington died in 1909 at 48.