Winter of 1899", 7.5" x 5 7/16", Gouache on paper - SOLD
Henry Farny was born in
His parents fled to America, as political refugees, after the
Napoleonic party came to power. They settled in Pennsylvania at the
headwaters of the Allegheny River. Their home was near a Seneca Indian
camp,and Farny's early encounters with the Seneca led to a lifelong
interest in the Indian. The family moved to Cincinnati, where Henry
found work as an apprentice lithographer.
By the age of eighteen, he had work published in "Harper's Weekly". The
following year Farny went to Europe for three and a half years of study
in Rome, Dusseldorf and Vienna. Returning to America, he worked as a
book illustrator, revolutionizing the schoolbook industry when he
salvaged the declining McGuffey Reader series with his illustrations.
Farny made numerous trips to the West, including in 1878 a
thousand-mile canoe trip down the Missouri River and in 1893, a journey
to Montana to attend cermonies marking completion of the Northern
Pacific transcontinental railroad.
He was adopted by a tribe of Sioux Indians and named "Long Boots".
Unlike the work of many early western artists, Henry Farny's paintings
met with almost instant acclaim and quick sale. His repeated trips to
Indian encampments resulted in the storytelling type of art that was so
typical of the times.
Farny's miniature-like technique was void of the sensationalism which
generally was the tool of the less accomplished artists of the day.
Paintings by Henry Farny are "blue chip" in the art market; they have
appreciated more in value per square inch than those of any other
artist. Farny was a noted gourmet cook and after-dinner speaker. He
could also speak French, German, Italian and Indian.
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