The Last Drop, Finest US Lost Wax Bronze Statue Sculpture by Schreyvogel


This touching bronze statue by Schreyvogel depicts a soldier giving his last drop of water to his horse demonstrating the special bond between man and horse. It is cast in the purest American bronze by the superior lost wax casting process and finished in a golden and multi-toned patinas with dark brown touches capturing every detail. Mounted on a fine black or green marble base with the artist signature on the base of the bronze. Approx. dimensions: 20″H x 15″L. Makes a wonderful gift for lovers of horses and western art!


About the artist:

Charles Schreyvogel (January 4, 1861 – January 27, 1912) was an American painter of Western subject matter in the days of the disappearing frontier. Schreyvogel was especially interested in military life. He was born in New York City and grew up in a poor family of German immigrant shopkeepers on the Lower East Side of New York. He also spent part of his childhood in Hoboken, New Jersey. Schreyvogel was unable to afford art classes and he taught himself to draw. In 1901, his painting My Bunkie was awarded the Thomas Clarke Prize at the annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design. He suddenly became recognized and earned what seemed like overnight fame.

Schreyvogel did much of his work in his studio (or its rooftop) in decidedly non-Western Hoboken. He died in Hoboken in 1912 and is buried in Flower Hill Cemetery, North Bergen, New Jersey.

At the time of his unexpected death from blood poisoning in 1912, Charles Schreyvogel was considered one of the most popular artists of the Old West, revered for his nostalgic images of a disappearing frontier. His fame arrived late in life, when his painting My Bunkie won first prize at the 1900 National Academy of Design exhibition, yet he had been training since his youth as an artist. Born in 1861 to German immigrants settled in New York City, Schreyvogel apprenticed during the 1870s to a gold engraver and a lithographer before enrolling in the Newark Art League. With the financial assistance of his brothers, he traveled abroad and studied from 1886-1890 at the Munich Royal Academy, there developing an interest in realism and genre scenes. The watershed moment in Schreyvogel’s career occurred back home in 1893 when he attended Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and sketched for the first time the stuff of his childhood dreams: cowboys and Indians. So entranced was he with these new subjects that soon afterwards he visited the Ute Reservation in Colorado — an opportunity to photograph and paint local legends and begin collecting western artifacts as props for compositions. Schreyvogel’s insistence on thorough preliminary research prompted future trips to the Dakotas, but also limited his production, ultimately fewer than 100 paintings. Ironically, chief rival Frederic Remington in 1903 challenged the historical accuracy of his Custer’s Demand; Schreyvogel, however, supported by notables including Theodore Roosevelt and the wife of Colonel Custer, weathered such criticism to become “the greatest” in his “line of work” (John A. Sleicher, editor of Leslie’s Weekly).

Schreyvogel executed a mere handful of sculptures which, like his paintings, celebrated stories of heroism and bravery. The Last Drop, although seemingly less dramatic than his usual action-packed subjects, freezes a tension-filled moment after a skirmish: a cavalryman pours the remains of his water canteen into his hat and offers it to his weary mount. Schreyvogel cast the bronze from a clay model used for a painting of the same theme. In both, his attention to realism is evident in the horse’s lean musculature, the rider’s concerned expression, and the pair’s survival equipment, from saddlebag and bedroll to sword and rifle. The rider’s kneeling before his horse in a position of deference underscores a favorite Schreyvogel theme: the personal sacrifice of military troops in the midst of danger or defeat.

Works by Schreyvogel are included in the collections of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Sid Richardson Museum, Fort Worth, Texas and the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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