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The Vow of Vengeance

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.




Hermon Atkins MacNeil
American, 1866–1947

About this artwork

Hermon Atkins MacNeil modeled The Vow of Vengeance in Chicago in 1894, a year after he had worked on sculptural decorations for the World’s Columbian Exposition. He grew interested in Native American culture at the fair, where he encountered ethnographic displays and performers from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. His first freestanding Indian sculpture, The Vow of Vengeance depicts an elder chieftain guiding a young brave as he shoots an arrow skyward. The individualistic modeling of the man suggests study from life, while the youth’s graceful pose adheres more closely to neoclassical idealism. The sculpture later served as inspiration for The Sun Vow, MacNeil’s large-scale bronze (1926.1503).


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Arts of the Americas


Hermon Atkins MacNeil


The Vow of Vengeance


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.





Vow of Vengeance/HA MacNeil/94


42.6 × 18.7 × 21.6 cm (16 3/4 × 7 3/8 × 8 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Wesley M. Dixon Jr.

Reference Number


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