South Side of Buffalo Island (1832).
Painter: George Catlin, oil on canvas, 11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (28.5 x 36.7 cm).
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
George Catlin’s Missouri River voyage in 1832 brought him into a vast country that led him to describe eloquently what he painted. “There is no more beautiful prairie country in the world, than that which is to be seen in this vicinity . . . The surface of the country is gracefully and slightly undulating, like the swells of the retiring ocean after a heavy storm. And everywhere covered with a beautiful green turf, and with occasional patches and clusters of trees. The soil in this region is also rich, and capable of making one of the most beautiful and productive countries in the world.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 32, 1841).