Osage Chief

File:Little osages.jpg

Politics is the art of the possible. This old rubric takes on special intensity when we consider how to undo, to the extent possible, the damage to the native peoples done by the arrival and expansion of the European peoples in North America. Surely patience and goodwill (of the extraordinary kind) are required.

RT ran across this superb portrait of an Osage Indian Chief while doing research on the history and status of Indian reservations. He offers it here as a tribute to the pride, beauty, and native gift of America’s first inhabitants.


Portrait: Chief of the Little Osages; bust-length, profile showing hair style. (c. 1807) Artist: Charles B.J. de Saint-Memin. WikiCmns; Library of Congress. Public Domain.

  1. aubrey
    February 6, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Magnificent portrait. Reminds me of Holbein: the stray lines outlining clothes, shoulders and neck before converging into a peerless rendition of the subject’s face – the nobility and sadness within a complex design of depth and shadow.

  2. February 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    aubrey: i like the connection with Holbein, another gifted portrait painter. and i couldn’t agree more about the sadness: he was living through something very hard. to think that this man was a contemporary of the founding fathers… RT

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