Treasured Artworks at the Texas Capitol


Congress Avenue at Eleventh Street

Austin, Texas


Gean Smith, Wildfire

Gean Smith, Wildfire, 1915, oil on canvas, 30 x 39 inches, 1996.3 . Donated to the State Preservation Board by Bill and Mary Cheek, Dallas, Texas, December ll, 1996. Collection of The State Preservation Board, Austin, Texas.


Born in New York, this self-taught artist's specialty was depicting the action and movement of animals, specifically horses. He once said, "I never attempt to paint instantaneous action. The eye receives the impression of the result and this is what I paint. The real likeness of a horse in action is above the legs." Smith was nationally known for his equestrian paintings; one famous example destroyed by fire in 1899, included portraits of 65 individual horses. The artist traveled widely, including visits to his sister in Galveston, where he settled in the 1920s.

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