The Horse Doctor and His Medicine Bag at Rendezvous, Giclee on Canvas, Limited to 115, Dimensions: 48" x 66", Published 2008.
Once the Plains people had become accustomed to owning horses, says Howard Terpning, a special class of medicine men emerged: those with unusual skill in healing the ailments of horses. Some remedies involved the use of various herbs and others would seem to us today like magic tricks, with no sound medical reasoning and yet they often worked wonders. The Nez Perce were among the best horse breeders, so it would follow that they produced excellent horse doctors.,
This scene at Rendezvous shows a group of Nez Perce and a white trader observing the initial meeting between a horse doctor and his patient. At some point in the healing process, the horse doctor will open his medicine bag and bring out the magical items and herbs that will, with luck, cure the animal.
This painting enabled me to show a large group of people, surrounded by the clutter and confusion of the annual rendezvous.
MEET HOWARD TERPNING When Howard Terpning’s paintbrush touches the canvas, there is a profound commitment behind its spirit, a vital force that drives the originality of each painting with a heartfelt purpose. The compassion, strength, and vulnerability that radiates from the canvas is not only a testament to his skills, but a reflection of the artist, and the man himself. Terpning has become one of the most lauded painters of Western art today and is considered by many a national treasure. He is amongst the rare group of artists to see his work sell for over a million dollars in his lifetime. This is not only a rating of the mastery of his skills as an artist, but of his employment of them to allow the viewer to experience the deep respect for people and nature that drives his art. Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, Terpning first gained attention through his advertising and editorial illustrations. His vision became the force behind such classic movie posters as “The Sound of Music”, “Dr. Zhivago”, and the 1967 re-issue of “Gone with the Wind”. Always a Marine, Terpning answered the call again, making combat patrols around Da Nang with a camera and sketch pad for the Corps in Vietnam during 1967, but his love of the West and Native American traditions fueled his transition to fine art. He has become known as the Storyteller of the Native American because of his devotion and respect for the Plains Indian. The late Fred A. Myers, director of the Gilcrease Museum, said of Terpning, “He is simply the best and best-known artist doing Western subjects at this point. He is among a very small group of painters of the West in the late 20th century whose art will still be hanging in museums and appreciated a hundred years from now.” His work has been exhibited around the world and collected in museums including the Autry National Center, the Phoenix Museum, and the Booth Western Art Museum, along with many of the most prestigious private collections today.
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