Research: Luce Center for American Art

Prairie on Fire
Accession #48.195
Artist Charles Deas
TitlePrairie on Fire
Date1847
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions28 3/4 x 35 15/16 in. (73 x 91.3 cm)
SignedSigned lower right: "1847. / C Deas."
Credit LineGift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection
LocationAmerican Identities: Everyday Life / A Nation Divided

Curatorial Remarks: Prairie Fire takes the classic damsel-in-distress story line and transports it to the American West. Panicked horses and frantic riders race through a prairie as a fire rages in the background. In choosing this setting, Charles Deas drew on popular imagery in nineteenth-century visual art and literature, including James Fenimore Cooper’s novel The Prairie.