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The Advance-Guard, or The Military Sacrifice (The Ambush)

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Frederic Remington
American, 1861–1909

About this artwork

Born in Canton, New York, and later a student at the Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Art Students League in New York City, Frederic Remington gained widespread distinction for his heroic and mythic visions of life in the American West. Remington lived in Montana and Kansas, working as a ranch hand in the early 1880s. He traveled across the West and Southwest, where he observed Native American customs, ranch life, and soldiers on horseback patrolling the frontier. Capturing the individuality and self-determination of these populations with a superb sense of drama, Remington romanticized the vanishing life of the Old West in bronze sculptures, magazine illustrations, etchings, and oil paintings.

During the late 1880s, Remington worked as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly and accompanied the United States Sixth Cavalry as it pursued the Sioux, Native Americans of the northern plains, across the canyons of the Badlands. To protect the regiment from ambush, commanders sent single cavalrymen far ahead to draw their adversaries’ fire. The Advance Guard depicts the moment when the regiment’s forward-most sentinel is shot by a Sioux warrior hidden in the rocky ravine. Remington meticulously represented the stricken soldier in the brightly lit foreground, with his companions retreating hastily to warn the regiment of the imminent danger.

On View

American Art, Gallery 161


Frederic Remington


The Advance-Guard, or The Military Sacrifice (The Ambush)


New York




Oil on canvas


Signed, lower left: "Frederic Remington/1890"


87.3 × 123.1 cm (34 3/8 × 48 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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