Originally featured in Points West magazine in Winter 2011
When Law Dulls the Edge of Chance by Charles M. Russell
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police held a special place in Charles M. Russell’s heart. Their colorful exploits and heroic deeds made them a likely subject for some of his paintings. While in Alberta in 1888, Russell first encountered the “Red Coats” and was quite impressed by their presence. After seeing them again in 1912 in Calgary, the artist was inspired to paint them. When Law Dulls the Edge of Chance was the last of a series of four paintings about this subject. The theme: The Mounties always get their man.
While on a visit to Canada in 1919, the Prince of Wales saw the work at an exhibition and was fascinated by the Mounties. He purchased a ranch in High River in southern Alberta before his departure. His new neighbors of High River purchased this painting and gave it to the Prince of Wales as a gift.
Charles M. Russell (1864 – 1926). When Law Dulls the Edge of Chance, 1915. Oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches. Gift of William E. Weiss. 28.78