Frederic Remington's Friend Analysis

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Both Frederic Remington’s Friends or Foes? (The Scout) and Theodore Gericault’s Trumpeter of the Hussars picture companionless horsemen on high-ground; however, Remington portrays environmental isolation, while Gericault depicts psychological isolation. I will explore this dichotomy of emotion in the formal elements of the horsemen, horses, and surrounding landscapes. In The Scout, a Blackfoot Indian on horseback gazes across an expansive winter landscape to examine an encampment in the distance. The Indian wears tattered garbs, while his horse appears weak and unkept. In Trumpeter, a French trumpeter sits astride his white horse overlooking the ongoing battle. The solider is dressed in traditional hussar attire with a pack of supplies, and…show more content…
In The Scout, a strong diagonal moving from left to right moves the viewer’s attention away from the horsemen, bolstering the sense of environmental isolation. Even the viewer is not present in The Scout. On the other hand, the same left to right diagonal in Trumpeter appears to strengthen the position of the parallel horse; however, Gericault channels this strength into melancholic stillness with the engulfing shadows described above. With this trick, Gericault plays with the mind of the viewer in the same way that he plays with the mind of the hussar. Remington and Gericault also place the “others” in different places. In The Scout, the encampment appears in front of the Indian, whereas in Trumpeter the other soldiers fight behind him. The arrangement in Scout places the tension in the back of Indian as he decides whether or not to approach the camp. The arrangement in Trumpeter places the tension in the mind of the hussar as he remains lost in thought and disillusioned with the violence behind him. In addition to the composition of the surrounding landscapes, the color schemes support the alternative forms of isolation. The uniform shades of light blue in The Scout add to the sprawling desolation of the environment. Everything is blue. Everything is the same, with the black line of the
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