George Catlin

1796 - 1872

American Genre Painter

George Catlin Biography

George Catlin was a man of many talents and multiple careers. He is best known today as a painter of the American wilderness and particularly of native American peoples of the Great Plains region. During a remarkable burst of activity, between 1832 and 1836, he participated in four expeditions into the northern Mississippi and Missouri regions painting and collecting Indian artifacts. The landscapes and peoples were little changed in the three decades since Lewis and Clark's voyage of discovery.

Catlin painted numerous portraits of individual native Americans as well as scenes of their everyday life in villages, hunting, fishing, and so on. He also documented religious ceremonies and holy places, including the sacred pipestone quarry. Catlin's landscape scenes often were depicted from an aerial point of view.