Each afternoon, the caravan halted for lunch and a brief “siesta.” Here we see Stewart asleep at the center of a small bluff overlooking the wagons and picketed horses. He is flanked by Antoine and two other members of their party, perhaps Auguste and Louis. Miller, however, could not join his party in rest, but had to use the valuable time to sketch.
The freshness of this ink and wash drawing suggests it may have begun in the field during just such a noon day break. The surface is covered in very fine, loose pencil sketch. With the exception of the figure of Stewart, Miller appears to have then brushed in the figures in broad washes and subsequently articulated them using a combination of brown and gray ink. In contrast, Stewart, perhaps owing to his white buckskin suit, appears to have been carefully outlined first, with a minimal application of wash.
Although Miller has gone over some areas to give them greater definition, overall, the sketch is rendered with an economy of strokes and light washes. The horses in the middle ground and the distant trees are simply, cursorily rendered, with little attention to capturing relative size, texture, or specificity of detail. The resulting image is simple, yet it captures the scene with specificity and conveys a mood of pastoral ease.
The artist; Sir William Drummond Stewart, Murthly Castle, Perthshire, Scotland, 1839; Frank Nichols Stewart, 1871; [Chapman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1871]; Bonamy Mansell Power, England, 1871; willed to Edward Power, England, 1900; by descent to Major G.H. Power, Great Yarmouth, England. 1966; [Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, NY, 1966; present owner