Bronc to Breakfast


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This is one of Russell’s most popular memories of cow camp life and possibly the best look at what the kitchen looked like on the range. Complete with all the characters involved, (including Charlie himself), this calamity was unacceptable behavior to the camp cook who with butcher knife in hand is threatening dire penalties for this behavior.



Russell left no written record documenting the inspiration for this painting. While it is certainly possible that it replicates an actual event that Russell witnessed, it is also possible that the scene is apocryphal.

Here Charlie depicts himself seated on the right with a plate of food, watching the twisting bronc kick the morning coffee, bacon-filled frying pan, and Dutch oven biscuits into the fire. The angry cook, who wears an apron made from an empty sack of “Pillsbury’s Best XXXX” flour, brandishes a knife. Finding humor in such events is a hallmark of many of Russell’s works. However, he never wished to see anyone harmed.

Source: Montana Historical Society

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12 x 16 inches, 26 x 20 inches

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