Swiss artist's views of Old West in Zurich show
By Hanns Neuerbourg
The party soon left on a highly adventurous expedition by stagecoach, foot and steamboat, eventually traveling almost 2,000 miles up the Missouri river to Fort McKenzie, then a fur-trading post in central Montana. All along the way, Bodmer painted the scenery and the Native Americans the travelers met.
Impressive portraits, especially of Mato-Tope, a warrior chief of the Mandan tribe, are among the various highlights of the Zurich exhibition. A picture of his buffalo robe, painted with dramatic scenes of a fight he had with a Cheyenne chief, is of special interest.
Below: "Four Bears (Mato-Tope), a Mandan chief; full-length, standing, holding lance and wearing a painted and quilled shirt. Artwork by Karl Bodmer, 1833-34."