Description Baltimore artist Alfred Jacob Miller is known primarily for his paintings of the American West, but his interests extended beyond this subject. A prolific sketcher, he filled many journals with drawings and captions from the time he was studying in Paris and Rome (1833) until the 1870's. The interests of Miller are clearly reflected in these sketches: the theater (a large portion being quick figure drawings of the Ravel Pantomime Troupe), studies of works by the Old Masters, literary illustrations, childhood memories, Baltimore scenery, and witty scenes of characters. This watercolor is of one of the Ravel Pantomime Troupe, a family that toured America in the middle part of the 19th century. Among the Ravels' most long-standing successes was a two-act pantomime set in Russia, "Godenski, or the Skaters of Wilnau," in which the tribulations of the young lovers, Ludoviski and Ludoviska, follow the lines of the traditional harlequinade. The comic suitor, Godenski, is rescued in a skating scene in which roller skates were used for the first time in America.
|8/11/1981||Examination||examined for exhibition|
- Alfred Jacob Miller: An Artist on the Oregon Trail. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1981-1982.
Provenance Alfred Jacob Miller, Jr.; Norton Asner, Baltimore, 1959 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Mr. and Mrs. D. Luke Hopkins [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, June 11, 1968, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mr. and Mrs. D. Luke Hopkins, 1968
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