I'm speculating, but from what I've read so far on the internet, it seems likely that Russell was little exposed to the mainstream artistic fashions of his day. He essentially was an illustrator/reporter, taking care to depict his subjects as accurately as he could. What's important is that he also had a good eye for color and the atmosphere of his settings. In short, he was an untutored "natural."
Note the treatment of the background: sophisticated for a supposed amateur.
Russell havin' a little fun.
It might have taken you a minute to notice the shadows on the opposite hillside.
Auctioned for $1.9 million in 2014.
A rare example of atypical subject matter.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police get their man.
Formerly on display in the Montana capitol building.
On display in the Montana capitol building.