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VERSO
Artist label with title and “WC# 70/15”

According to the artist, “In 1909, Theodore Roosevelt was the guest of Mr. Hugh H. Heatley at the Kamiti Ranch. They were to hunt Cape buffalo in a swampy area between the Renero and Kamiti Rivers.

“Four members of the party left camp at 8:00 am on the third morning. RJ Cunninghame, the safari leader, Heatley, their host, along with Kermit and Roosevelt. With Heatley leading the way, the group cautiously follows the winding watercourse shielded by the intermittent stands of papyrus. Before long Cunninghame spotted some buffalo, which were lying down. Crawling on all fours, at times the men inched their way towards their quarry. They were still some 200 yards off when the buffalo caught sight of them and stood up. They fired and both leading bulls were hit, but as the shots rang out the remainder of the herd rose and moved out from the papyrus swamp. To the hunter’s amazement, there were some seventy or eighty and they started to gallop across the swamp. Behind the bulls were cows one of which TR shot. At the same moment the remainder of the herd, bulls to the front, moved towards the hunters in menacing close formation with their heads outstretched.

“My painting depicts this most uneasy stand off for the four men and their followers. Heatley freezes in his tracks, to avoid inviting a charge. ’Stand steady!’ 'Don’t run!’ Teddy Roosevelt shouts out as Cunninghame, with his arm on Kermit, calls out, 'And don’t shoot!’ A few tense seconds passed before the herd turned and took flight away from the men.”

PROVENANCE
Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Reno, Nevada, 2009
Private collection, Billings, Montana

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