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Cowboy Portrait Original Art The American West by Robert Trau

  • 40000
  • Save $ 450

This piercing portrait of an American cowboy is from our small collection of original art by Robert Trau – an exceptional artist who created especially powerful and compelling portraits. 

Trau died in 2001 at the age of 78.  A World War II veteran, he had been an advertising commercial artist who relocated to Florida (from Cincinnati) eight years earlier.  The following is an excerpt from his obituary in the St. Petersburg Times (11/29/2001):


TRAU, ROBERT A., 78, of Plant City, died Tuesday (Nov. 27, 2001) in Plant City. Born in Cleveland, he came to the Tampa area in 1993 from Cincinnati. He was an advertising commercial artist, World War II Army veteran, a member of Olin S. Wright Masonic Lodge 79, F&AM, and East Hillsborough County Art League. He was Presbyterian. Survivors include ……


In this timeless portrait of a weathered cowboy, he is staring straight out at the viewer.  The cowboy emerges from a dark background.  The dark brown of the paper creates the backdrop and the base color of his face, hat and jacket.  

Close inspection reveals that Trau has created a vivid and detailed rendering with a rich palette of chalk / pastels --- including orange, yellow, red (in the eyes), and blue.  The hair, the mustache, the stubble, and the weathered face are at the center of this study in curves (from the hat to the face to the scarf).  The curves of the draped neck scarf seem to echo the curves of the facial wrinkles.

His dark presence (emphasized by the black / blue area behind his head) is slightly illuminated by light coming from our right (his left).

This is one of the two most interesting cowboy portraits we have owned over the years.  (The other one was one of Bud Breen’s masterpieces – an iconic portrait of a cowboy on horseback – that we sold on eBay.)

For those who combine an interest in the American West (and cowboys) with a love of original works of art ….. this would be an iconic centerpiece of any collection.

Trau’s portraits are all so very powerful and specific – so we presume that he has been inspired by specific faces. 

This original drawing, which almost seems to “glow”, is signed (in orange) at the lower right. 

This original drawing is double matted in a silver metal frame (with a wire on the back).  The frame shows wear from age and handling.

The frame is 22 ¼” x 27 ¼” x ¾”.  The mat window is about 15 1/4” x  19 ¼”.


In response to an inquiry, we have quickly photographed this to get it listed.  Interference from reflections and glare on the glass prevent you from seeing it well in the photos. We photographed it from multiple angles, hoping that the "collage" of views (through the reflective glass) will permit you to get a good look at this interesting portrait.  We will try to re-photograph it another day.  The depth and richness of the vivid colors can be easily seen in person.


[  Be sure to watch the 8 part 2016 docudrama on AMC  --- The American West (produced by Robert Redford). ]


***********   PLEASE NOTE:     LOCAL PICK UP ONLY (but we can refer you to moving companies and to packers/shippers such as the UPS Store and FED EX) **********************************************************************************


All of the art work and collectibles being sold by Adams-Byrd have been collected and selected one at a time by the proprietor, an art historian with many years of training and experience in university art history departments, museums, galleries and historic sites both in the U.S. and abroad.  Our small family business has been based in the Washington, D.C. area for many years.  Our online presence has now replaced our brick & mortar locations. The art and collectibles that we are offering to discerning shoppers are special and unique pieces that have been carefully “curated” by us.


*********  FALL SPECIAL -- For a few weeks our $850 regular price is being lowered to $400 --- Local Pickup Only OR we can suggest packers/shippers & we can deliver the framed original work of art (as a courtesy) to the UPS Store or the FEDEX OFFICE Store if you hire either of them for the job  *************


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