Ritual plays a dominant role in the life of a Plains warrior and ZS Liang’s Preparing for the Confrontation is a masterpiece of detail depicting their preparations for battle.
In the summer of 1830 these Piegan Blackfeet warriors tracked, across the Montana Territory, a group of Crow raiders who had stolen horses from these Piegan’s home encampment. In Liang’s painting, the early-morning mist that had cloaked their presence melts away declaring that the time for battle has come.
The warrior leader uses mountain lion’s pelt as a saddle blanket on his horse and as a sign of his power. His war shirt carries the stories of his acts of bravery; killing a bear by hand, three rifles taken from enemies and battles in which he has been victorious. A wolf fang is woven into the headdress he is putting on and the serrated edges of the eagle feathers show he has multiple coups and the two red dots representing his kills in battle. Nearby a war shield hanging on a tree is decorated with eagle feather and a small medicine bag, blessed a medicine man and designed to protect the warrior that carries it.
All these men wear powerful bear claw necklaces and eagle-feather headdresses. They paint their faces and war medicine signs on their horses, both for protection from harm and for success in the impending battle. To the far right a warrior is placing a medicine mask upon his horse to provide it with spiritual powers and as a sign of the power of the warrior that rides him into battle.
Commissioned for the prestigious Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, this painting was also the subject of a feature story in the July 2012 Art of the West. The serious collectors won’t want to miss out on the over-sized MasterWork Fine Art Gilcee Canvas, at 40” x 27”, is offered in the select edition s of only ten.
Fine Art Giclée
limited to 35 s/n.
30"w x 20"h.
Fine Art Giclée
limited to 10 s/n.
40"w x 27"h (unstretched).