German-born American Painter, 1813-1857
American painter. He spent six formative years in the hill country of North Carolina. By 1834 he was working and studying drawing in New York, but two years later he went to Texas to join in the war for independence. Although he returned to New York a year later, it was not until 1846, with the outbreak of the Mexican War, that Ranney began to use his Western experience as the basis for his painting. With the encouragement of the American Art Union, he executed three types of Western subject: the Western trapper or hunter, pursuing a dangerous life on the prairies, as in Trapper's Last Shot (1850; untraced; engraved and lithographed by T. Dwight Booth); the pioneer family, heading across the plains with children, dogs and goods, as in Advice on the Prairie (1853; Malvern, PA, Claude J. Ranney priv. col.); and the dangers of emigration, for example Prairie Fire.