This painting was one of a series of four by Remington that was reproduced in the October 1902 issue of Scribner’s Magazine under the general title “Western Types.” Besides the cowboy, the other paintings depicted a scout, a “half-breed,” and a cavalryman. The paintings were also reproduced as separate prints, and they all proved to be popular with the public. The painting of The Cowboy shows Remington’s new awareness of color; harmonious tones of dusty yellow, light blue, and pale lavender in the desert landscape surround the rider and his horse. The story is told that John Howard, a boyhood friend of Remington’s, greatly admired the painting in the artist’s studio and asked its price. Although Remington quoted a far higher price than anticipated, Howard reluctantly agreed to write a check for the amount. Months passed without the check clearing the bank, and Howard found himself having to remind Remington several times about their transaction. One evening, as the two men were sitting together after a dinner at Remington’s house, the artist used a piece of paper to light their cigars. Once that was done, Remington informed his friend that the piece of paper was his check and the transaction had just been completed.