Tempera on masonite
71.1 x 77.5 cm (28 x 30 1/2 in.)
Bequest of William Kelly Simpson in memory of his wife Marilyn M. Simpson and her grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 2018.78
In 1940, a closeted gay art critic punningly described this painting as a "queer picture."
Washing the White Blood from Daniel Boone relates an episode in the life of the frontiersman: his adoption ritual performed upon his temporary capture by the Shawnee people. One of the first American artists whose same-sex desires were recognized by his contemporaries, French homoeroticized the narrative by substituting men for the women who were thought to have performed the rite.
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