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My favorite old cowboy print - Argument with the Sherriff, 1919, by W. R. Leigh

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (3973 items)

    i'm going to get this restored and framed in this really cool old western frame i have. i've got a bunch of old cowboy prints, but this one is by far my favorite. it gets my adrenaline pumping every time i look at it. most of them are really kind of still and tranquil, but this one has so much action, fear, gore. i have not figured out who painted it and have never seen another one. it could be w. r. leigh, adam styka, maybe c. m. russel [doubt it], or ??? any ideas? whoever it was, s/he sure was a masterful painter! just look at the composition and use of the frame and the way it invites you to explore the entire image.

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    1. Militarist Militarist, 8 years ago
      Makes me feel sorry for the horses. Just look at the expression on the horse's face at the left.
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Fredrick Remington.
    3. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      hi blunderbuss2. do you know that for sure? it doesn't really look like his style, although he did experiment w/ composition alot.
    4. AmberRose AmberRose, 8 years ago
      Them dang cattle rustlers!
      It looks like a print from the 50s to me but that's just a guess.
    5. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      i think it's from between 1908 and 1930. if you check out the prints from the 50s, they don't have the deep level of detail that this one does. plus it's super fragile and i found it in a bunch of papers from 1900-1935 or so.
    6. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Well I was sure it was Remington as I am familiar with the painting & really like it. I almost even said the name of it Is "Ambush". I'm glad I didn't bet Your farm on it. I just spent about an hour looking for it & can't find it. Not listed under Remington or Russell. Let's see who comes up with it.
    7. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      you may be right blunderbuss2. i'd like to find out for certain. i'm kind of leaning towards W. R. Leigh - if i had to bet on it at this point.
    8. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      i got this message this morning:

      The back cover of this book at Amazon reads: Argument with the Sheriff, 1919, by W.R. Leigh (courtesy of Thomas Gilcrease Institute, Tulsa, Oklahoma).

      i also got this from Andy Thomas's secretary [Andy is a well-known cowboy artist]: 'Andy says it is William Leigh and it's one he hadn't seen but is great!'
    9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Don't even recognize the name W.R. Leigh but looked and thar t'is.
    10. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      this is from a short bio i found on the Medicine Man Gallery's website: William R. Leigh was born in Berkeley County, West Virginia in 1866. Deciding upon a career in art quite early, Leigh enrolled in classes at the Maryland Institute, Baltimore, in 1880, spending three years there before moving to Munich, where he studied at the Royal Academy for over a decade, leaving in 1895. While at the Academy, he won the annual medal for painting six times in a row.

      Returning to the United States, Leigh settled in New York City, where he made illustrations for Scribner’s and Collier’s magazines. He became well-established as an illustrator, but both the nature of the work and the limited subject matter made him anxious for new challenges. In 1906, an opportunity to expand the scope of his work came about when the Sante Fe Railroad offered him free passage into the West in exchange for a painting of the Grand Canyon. Leigh accepted the offer and, at age forty, set off through New Mexico and Arizona on a trip that yielded not just the Grand Canyon piece he had been commissioned to do, but five more canvases that were purchased by the railroad.

      His focus was on the changing light of the Southwest, the pinks and purples that come into being when the sun sets over the mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico. Half-jokingly referred to as “The Sagebrush Rembrandt,” Leigh traveled to the Southwest many more times to paint the landscape and people, though he never moved there permanently. In fact, he led a sort of dual life, as he and his wife, Ethel Traphagen, opened the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York, which taught clothing design courses. The school was cutting-edge, its owner and students claiming responsibility for introducing shorts and slacks to women’s wear lines.

      William Leigh traveled all over the West, painting the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Forest. His primary area of interest, however, was the Hopi and Navajo Indians, who he painted everysummer from 1912 to 1926. In 1926 he took his first of two trips to Africa, though African subjects never permeated his work as thoroughly as Southwestern subjects. A successful illustrator, Leigh started to experience real success as a fine artist starting in the early 1940s. A large and robust man, he was a vehement opponent of Modernist painting.

      the photo of this print doesn't really show how beautiful those shades of purples and blues are in the print. he painted a number of narrative paintings like this one - often conveying a true sense of the complexity of his subjects. i've always had a thing for c.m. russel, remington, adam styka, bierstadt, but i don't think that even remington was able to capture action and a good narrative the way that leigh did.
    11. Battlinbear85, 3 years ago
      This was not from 1919, my painting shows it was made in 1912. It looks like an autograph on the bottom right hand side of the painting, but i can't read it, looks like only a few of the taller letters that i can see. I don't want to damage the painting trying to read who signed it.
    12. Battlinbear85, 3 years ago
      Call me if you have some info at 409-332-1007.
    13. Battlinbear85, 3 years ago
      And the author is W. R. Leigh

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