Scene from James Fenimore Cooper's "The Prairie"

Scene from James Fenimore Cooper's "The Prairie"
Unlike James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, which are set in New York State, his book The Prairie, is set in Western territories that Cooper never visited. The “West” of Cooper’s imagination featured expansive space that Easterners could scarcely fathom. Originally titled Friend or Foe, this painting depicts Leatherstocking (Cooper’s frontiersman hero) at center, and two companions looking at a thin wisp of smoke rising from the trees in the distance. The painter, James William Glass, Jr., was born in Cadiz, Spain, where his father was British Consul. He was raised in America and began working for the U.S. Coast Survey and Fortification Service. In 1844 he decided on a painting career, working under Henry Inman and Daniel Huntington, a successful portrait painter who had been a pupil of Samuel F. B. Morse. In 1847 or 1848, Glass went to Europe and achieved prominence with an equestrian portrait of Wellington, a copy of which was commissioned by Queen Victoria. He also painted historical subjects. He returned to the U.S. in late 1855, and within a few weeks committed suicide, ending at a young age what looked to be a promising career.
Physical dimensions: 
height 51.5 in ; width 71.75 in