Z. S. Liang

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The Art of Z. S. Liang

Z.S. Liang was born in China and raised in a family of artists. He studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in Guangzhou. Liang furthered his art study in the United States in 1982.He earned his BFA in painting at Massachusetts College of Arts in 1986 and his MFA in Painting at Boston University in 1989.

Liang received his great inspiratio ... Read More

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Pride of the Lakota
Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
23 x 43 in
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In Quest of the Cree
Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Signed & numbered
Image Size:
30 x 21 in
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Kachina Carver

The Hopi are associated by tradition and culture with the Pueblo peoples. The name “Hopi” means “peaceful ones.” Their religious beliefs are highly complex, influenced by many divinities, formed by centuries of occupying a harsh land, defending it from invasion and toiling to earn prosperity from it.

The heart of Hopi religious belief and ceremony was the Kachina cult. A Kachina was an ancestral spirit, an ancient who would intercede before the most powerful deities on behalf of the people for the assurance of fertility and prosperity. All Hopi men belonged to a Kachina cult and held to the belief that all things in life possess a dual reality, the physical form and its spiritual counterpart. During time-honored ceremonial dances, men would dress in elaborate costumes and masks that personified a specific Kachina. Made from cottonwood roots, the carved Kachina dolls represented the essential reality of these Hopi spirits. They were also used as teaching aids for educating children about the complexities of Kachina culture.

Full of marvelous color harmony, the image portrays a warm interior light that filters down upon a Hopi man intent upon his artistry as he fashions a Badger Kachina.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
28 x 31 in
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Sharing the Harvest

Near a camp on Montana’s Little Prickly Pear Creek, women and children fill their berry bags with mid-summer sarvis berries as a shy girl shares some of the harvest with a young mounted camp escort. They have shared their attraction for each other from afar but this simple gesture has allowed them the touch of hands. These beautifully rendered and expressive hands tell the story of passing intimacy.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
21 x 30 in
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Suspicious Sight

The safety of any camp depended on the vigilance of its warrior class. A guard would be enlisted to ride out from camp and patrol the surrounding area watchful of any sign of enemies, checking for game movements and making sure that horse herds were not permitted to drift too far off. Riding a sure-footed horse was essential to the survival of any Plains warrior.

The arrival of the horse in 1540 and the unprecedented power it presented forever altered tribal life. Soon, raiding horses was the dominant method through which Indian men could attain social recognition, advancement and wealth. In the midst of his watch, something out of place has caught this man’s eye; flushed birds, a swirl of dust or perhaps even a fleeting figure at the wood line. Who or what has entered his tribe’s domain?

The “Suspicious Sight” by Z.S. Liang is an elegant yet powerful portrait of Plains Indian life. It captures the serene beauty of the bond between a man, an animal and the land while intimating the potential danger of the unknown that lay just beyond our view in this tranquil scene.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
18 x 24 in
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Assiniboine Hunters

The Assiniboine Tribe was a hunting-gathering people whose range encompassed the prairie lands between the Saskatchewan River in the north to the Missouri River in the south. They were relatively horse poor, which contributed to their daring as cunning horse thieves, especially against their avowed enemy, the Blackfeet Nation. Their surprise winter horse-stealing raids were legendary.

Z.S. Liang’s “Assiniboine Hunters” shows why he is regarded as one of the most important and skilled painters depicting the Native American experience today. The varied warm and cool grays on a design of positive and negative shapes come to life in this Fine Art Limited Edition Canvas. These hunters have stopped to warm themselves and rest, having failed to find game during a morning search down Otter Robe coulee. The one possessing “badger medicine” sees movement at the distant timber edge. Perhaps luck may yet turn in their favor!

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
31 x 21 in
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The Diversion, Bozeman Trail, 1866 – Commemorative Edition Set

Red Cloud’s War was the only Western Indian conflict that was clearly won by the American Indian. Gold had been discovered in Montana in 1862 and by 1863 the newly blazed Bozeman Trail was the most direct route to it. The trail took emigrants and gold seekers through the Powder River Basin, the rich hunting grounds of the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho, lands ceded to them by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.

The first emigrant trains began traveling up the trail not long after John Bozeman and John Jacobs had finished marking the route. In 1864, a large train of 2,000 settlers successfully made the trek. Although some additional wagon trains were also successful, they were under constant threat of attack. Over the next two years, travel along the corridor came to a complete halt because of numerous raids by a coalition of tribes.

In 1866, the US Department of the Interior called on the leaders of the Lakota and Brule to gather at Fort Laramie to negotiate a new treaty guaranteeing the safety of the Bozeman Trail. This gathering coincided with the arrival of over 1300 U.S. Army troops, led by Col. Henry B. Carrington. Their orders were to create a series of garrisons along the Bozeman and Oregon Trails. Red Cloud tried to convince the council they were being betrayed. Carrington, he argued, had come to steal the road before “the Indian said yes or no.” He stormed from the council. He and his followers were on the warpath again.

Carrington took 700 troops with him up the Bozeman Trail. From south to north, he rebuilt Fort Reno and added Forts Philip Kearney and C.F. Smith to offer protection to travelers brazen enough to attempt the trail. Raids and ambushes led by Red Cloud and his followers such as Crazy Horse only increased. Soon only heavily escorted trains could travel north. Fort Kearney, located in the Powder River Basin, the largest of the three forts, became the epicenter of Red Cloud’s War.

Fort Kearney was surrounded and under observation at all times. Every opportunity to harass the garrison and to attack its inhabitants, livestock and lifeline was taken. Wood was cut and gathered under heavy guard. Herds of beef cattle, the horses for the cavalry and mounted infantry, the mules for the supply wagons, could not graze without protection. The rich game country around the fort could not be hunted. There was no certainty about the attacks, ex¬cept an assurance that one was always due at any given moment.

One tactic often used by the Indians against the soldiers during the many skirmishes, was a decoy feint. This involved sending a small group of fighters against a larger company of soldiers who would fight off this small group and give pursuit. The retreating warriors were actually a decoy to lure the soldiers into a surprise trap made up of superior numbers of Indians waiting to envelop them.

None was more successful and tragic than that of December 21, 1866. The day’s wood-cutting party had come under attack outside the fort. A detachment of 80 men was gathered to ride to their aid. Just as they were to leave Captain William J. Fetterman attached himself to the column and, as the ranking officer, took command. New to the frontier, but famously arrogant, he had previously claimed that “with 80 men he could ride through the entire Sioux nation.” Carrington, all too aware of the officer’s demeanor, cautioned him to not be drawn into pursuit of the renegades after relieving the threatened wood-cutters.

The group of decoys, under the leadership of Crazy Horse, broke off their attack on the wood-cutting train with Fetterman’s approach. Contrary to his orders, Fetterman pursed. As many as two thousand Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho were waiting in ambush. None of Fetterman’s command survived, all 81 perishing in less than 30 minutes. The U.S. Army had never suffered such a great defeat at the hands of the Plains Indians. Only the Battle of Little Big Horn, ten years later, stands as a greater defeat.

With few if any emigrants using the trail in 1867, the army sequestered behind fortress walls and tribes showing few signs of easing up on attacks, the United States government decided to pursue a peace policy. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty recognized the Powder River Country once again as the hunting territory of the Lakota and their allies. A presidential proclamation was issued to abandon the forts. When the soldiers departed, Red Cloud’s warriors burned each to the ground. The Bozeman Trail was history.


It amazes me how a man from China has such an interest in the Native Indians and paints them as if he were one of them, spirit-to-spirit. His work is of the highest caliber.
– Michael Del Priore, Former Chairman of American Society of Portrait Artist.

This exclusive collectors’ set includes

  • A first-edition copy of Native Trails, Fresh Tracks signed by Zhuo S. Liang
  • The Diversion, Bozeman Trail, 1866 offered as either a Limited MasterWork Canvas Edition (52″ w x 38″ h), or a Limited Fine Art Canvas Edition (33″ w x 24″ h)
  • The Diversion, Bozeman Trail, 1866 – Graphite Pencil Sketch, a signed and matching numbered Fine Art Giclée Paper Edition
  • Red Cloud’s War on the Bozeman Trail, an historical brief

The Diversion, Bozeman Trail, 1866 was featured at the 2014 Couer D’Alene Auction and sold for over $100,000 alongside paintingsby Frederick Remington, Charles Russell and Thomas
Moran. It’s based on events near Fort Phil Kearny one of three the U. S. Army completed along the Bozeman Trail during the summer of 1866, along with Forts Reno and C. E. Smith. They were erected for the protection of emigrants, gold seekers and freight wagons traveling along the trail, which took them through the buffalo and game-rich hunting grounds of the Lakota Sioux bands and of the Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho.

Just as Sitting Bull’s Hunkpapas detested Fort Buford on the Upper Missouri, so too, did Red Cloud’s Powder River Oglalas keep Ft. Kearny almost constantly besieged. One daring ploy, often used by the Indians against the soldiers during the many skirmishes, was a decoy feint. This involved sending a small group of fighters against a larger company of soldiers would fight off this small group and give pursuit. The retreating warriors were actually a decoy to lure the soldiers into a surprise trap made up of superior numbers of Indians waiting to envelop them.

Z.S. Liang is one of the most important painters of contemporary Western Art. Native Trails, Fresh Tracks will only help to further cement his reputation. He has clearly struck a chord with collectors and this Commemorative Edition set is, indeed, a collector’s item.

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
52 x 38 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
33 x 24 in
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Z.S. Liang: Native Trails, Fresh Tracks

Z.S. Liang’s book contains over 70 full color paintings, personally selected by the artist, as well as photos of 18 Native American artifacts from his personal collection.The informative text, by writer and painter Tom Saubert, discusses the historical period as well as the artist’s approach to his work. This hardcover volume, long-awaited by Liang fans and Western art collectors, measures 9″ by 12 and includes 144 pages.

Book

Image Size:
9 x 12 in
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The Bear Spear

Bears were respected by the Blackfoot as fearsome creatures and great fighters; through spiritual interaction with bears, the Blackfoot received great powers. “The Bear Spear” carried the grizzly’s medicine and its owner was a greatly respected and powerful member of the tribe. At the death of the owner, this power or medicine was handed down to his son or someone worthy to possess it. With the ceremony and the story of its origin, these became one of the most valuable of the recipient’s possessions and made known only upon special occasions.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
24 x 38 in
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The Weather Maker

In this powerful painting, Z.S. Liang portrays the Weather Maker of the Blackfoot people during the days of the sacred Sun Dance. He is believed to have the special power to communicate with the Great Spirit in controlling the weather. The Weather Maker’s spiritual robe is decorated in various symbols identifying visions from his dreams: eagle feathers, birds, animal skins and extraterrestrial objects.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
27 x 40 in
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The Charge of Crazy Horse on Fort Laramie, 1864

“No hostile Indians within two to three days ride,” reported the Army patrol as it returned to Fort Laramie. Just as the troopers’ mounts were unsaddled and allowed to graze the spacious parade grounds, a daring party of Oglala warriors, led by none other than Crazy Horse, burst across the field. Unnerved and dismounted soldiers scrambled in all directions. Before they could recover, the raiding party and their prizes were on the far bank of the North Platte River. Despite a 48-hour pursuit, none of the captured horses were recovered.

Crazy Horse would always enter battle as he was shown by a thunder-being (wakiyan) during a vision quest. He would wear no war bonnet. A yellow lightning bolt was painted on his face and white powder, resembling hailstones, protected the vulnerable parts of his body. This great warrior did not fall in battle while protected by his strong medicine. Like many other great tribal leaders, he died under suspicious circumstances after surrendering to General George Crook at the Red Cloud Tribal Agency in Nebraska.

Z.S. Liang’s “The Charge of Crazy Horse on Fort Laramie, 1864″ was a feature painting at the 2013 Coeur D’Alene Auction, where the 40″ x 60″ canvas sold for over $180,000. The original may no longer be available, but you can own one the ten exclusive 45″ x 30″ MasterWork Giclée Canvases of this significant work or one of the twenty-five 29″ x 19” Fine Art Edition Giclée Canvases.

Crazy Horse was able to sneak upon and evade an entire military command, don’t let your own edition of this beautiful edition ride off as easily.

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
45 x 30 in
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Fine Art Print
 Giclée Canvas
Image Size:
29 x 19 in
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Charging the Enemy

Bow strung and at the ready, this warrior leads his fellow braves into battle. The eagle was considered by Plains Indians as the greatest and most powerful of all birds and he wears one as his headdress talisman for strength and courage in the ensuing fight. Featured at the 2010 Jackson Hole Auction, Charging the Enemy is a stunning Fine Art Giclèe Canvas set in an edition of only 25!

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
21 x 29 in
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Old Chief’s Story

“Many years ago,” says artist Z. S. Liang, “this Lakota chief fought bravely in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Now he recounts the story of the battle, when just as today he donned his golden-eagle-feather war bonnet. There is sadness in his eyes and his mouth is drawn tight. The story is almost finished. It is up to you, the listener, to remember and tell the story when he is done.”

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
14 x 10 in
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Transferring the Bear Knife

“Among the Blackfoot people of old,” says artist Z. S. Liang, “the power of the Bear Knife was legendary. It was believed to be so powerful that it could immobilize an enemy with fear at the sight of a warrior holding it! The warrior entrusted with the knife had to prove himself worthy of it, even during the ceremonial transfer.”

American Museum of Natural History anthropologist Clark Wissler describes the object as ” . . . a large dagger-like knife, to the handle of which was attached the jaws of a bear . . . which the recipient must catch when violently thrown at him . . . .” As a rule, the ‘keeper’ could not use any other weapon when going into battle. During the winter months the sacred knife would sleep wrapped securely in its bundle. The unwrapping ceremony was given with the coming of spring, coinciding with the time when bears emerged from hibernation.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
48 x 30 in
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Woodland Warrior

Years ago, Z.S. Liang found himself at the Plimoth Plantation and Wampanoag Homesite in Plymouth, MA. The Wampanoag men and women Liang befriended educated him in the history and ways of their people, an experience he would later describe as “invaluable. I feel so fortunate to be invited to particpate in the community. It was the best introduction to Native Americans I could have.”

In addition to teaching Liang about the customs of their people, the men and women at the Wampanoag Homesite were happy to model for him in their traditional dress as they went about their daily business.

The young warrior in this painting, with his turtle-shell medicine bag and wooden war cup, is defending his home against intruders. To this day, the Wampanoag people must defend themselves and their property from further encroachment, both in court and at home. “I paint these people to raise awareness about their bravery and their troubles. I hope that my art can somehow repay them for the kindnesses they did for me.”

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
27 x 36 in
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The Signal

High in the Rocky Mountains of Montana a Blackfeet warrior sits sentinel over the approaches to his people’s land. The reports are a war party from a rival tribe is on the move in the area. Scouts have been posted at key locations throughout the passes. Movement below confirms the Blackfeets’ information to be true. The signal is given. An intruder is near! The enemy is coming!

The Hudson Bay Company trade blanket places this event as happening sometime in the middle of the 19th century, but that is about as much information as Z.S. Liang is willing to give us. “The viewer is meant to create their own story about what has or will happen,” says Liang, “Some of the best stories are those not told.”

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
21 x 33 in
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Trading with the Blackfeet, Montana Territory, 1860

It is a good day for trade as a warm September sun adds to the genial quality of this Plains gathering. From the early 19th century to the 1870s, trade for furs and hides was a lucrative business. Traders and bands of Plains Tribes would gather at prearranged locations and exchange tools, cloth, blankets, finery and guns for the Indians’ pelts and hides. This group of Indians is well known to the traders, as the chief trader has been married to the sister of this band’s chief for several years. Other members of the trading party have Indian wives as well, so a familial atmosphere of mutual trust and friendship prevails.

Z.S. Liang’s “Trading with the Blackfeet, Montana Territory, 1860” is regarded as one of his finest works to date. At the 2009 Master’s of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, where it set a record sale price for a Liang original, the work received the David P. Usher Patrons’ Choice Award, an honor bestowed on the painting by collectors attending the event.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
55 x 33 in
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Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876

Early afternoon, June 25, 1876, Montana Territory, two scouts from the Sioux Encampment sight the Seventh Cavalry, led by General George Armstrong Custer, approaching from the East. The infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn is about to begin. Known to Native Americans as the Battle of Greasy Grass Creek, the conflict between a combined group of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne (led by great leaders such as Chief Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse) against Custer’s cavalry was a stunning defeat for the U.S. Army. Much has been made of Custer’s possible hubris in actions that led up to the battle, but the stark fact remains that these Native American warriors fought in a far superior fashion than had been expected. Also known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” the battle represented the high water mark of the Indian alliance and the call for retribution on the part of the U.S. citizenry was answered swiftly and harshly.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
21 x 32 in
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Lakota Warrior
Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
10 x 15 in
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Leader of the Tribe
Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
13 x 10 in
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Plunder of Many Horses

Once introduced, the horse quickly became central to Great Plains Indians’ life. They were a measure of wealth and, interestingly, an individual’s prestige was judged not so much by how many horses he could accumulate, but by the number of horses he could give away. Horses served as universal currency and horse stealing was part of the marking of time. (Crazy Horse, the Oglala Lakota, was born “in the fall of the year in which the band to which he belonged, the Oglala, stole One Hundred Horses.” Crow Dog, another Lakota subchief, was born at Horse Stealing Creek in what was then referred to as Montana Territory.) Horse stealing was a rite of passage. A boy on his first war party was given a juvenile nickname, but after he had stolen his first horse or killed an enemy, he was given a distinguished name.

“This small horse raiding party of Lakota has just successfully captured a bunch of good horses from their neighboring enemy, the Crow,” says Z.S. Liang. When pressed for more, the artist demurs. “The viewer is meant to create their own story about what has happened,” says Liang, “Some of the best stories are those not told.”

Among the many awards Liang has received are the 2009 David P. Usher Patrons’ Choice Award at the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale and the 2005 President’s Award for Excellence, Oil Painters of America. He set a new, personal auction record at the 2009 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction for “The Painted Robe.”

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
48 x 28 in
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Beneath the Cottonwoods

“Maternal love is in all races of mankind. Blackfoot girls married young and looked forward to becoming mothers. Much like today, children played house and mimicked adult life,” says Z.S. Liang of “Beneath the Cottonwoods.” “A Blackfoot mother would use a cradleboard, traditional across most Native American tribes, to protect and carry her baby. Cradleboards were made from curved and cross-braced willow-wands covered with buckskin and decorated with beadwork. An apron with lacing held the baby in. Notice the beaded umbilical cord amulet hanging on the cradle, a talisman for the child. The snake-shaped amulet is for a boy and a lizard form is for a girl.”

“One essential feature of any cradleboard is the large frame surrounding the baby’s head. This frame protected the baby from falls or swinging branches of trees as families moved through the woods. A carrying strap passed around the mother’s shoulders and chest so she could wear it. This strap also allowed the cradleboard to be hung from a saddle pummel or even a convenient tree. Cradleboards had the advantage of allowing babies to see what is going on around them and to participate in family life.”

The art of Z.S. Liang is regarded as some of the most important and beautiful created today. Museums and collectors buy his original paintings before the public has a chance to even see them. But you do have the opportunity to posses and enjoy in your home the art of the most significant artists working today.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
20 x 30 in
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Camp Sentry

“It is a cold Montana winter afternoon,” says artist Z.S. Liang, “and this Piegan war chief has ridden out alone from his encampment to assure the area is secure for his people.” The South Piegan, based in Montana for thousands of years, are part of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Artist Z.S. Liang often recounts that his rural Chinese upbringing was centered on ancient and traditional lifestyles which made it easy for him to relate to the Native Americans. For example, no resources were wasted in his home, much like the Plains Indians who used every part of the buffalo their lives depended on. A long time US resident, Liang has made himself into a student of Native American life, both in his personal library and his time in the field with tribes today. His devotion to historical details, and to the constant improvement of his skills, led him to horseback riding lessons so he could more accurately understand the movement and musculature of the animal that played such an important role in the life of the Plains Indian.

“Camp Sentry,” a dramatic portrait of Native and horse in the winter sun of Montana, is a consummate example of Liang’s skilled composition. Patterns of light and dark are repeated from the sky, the mountains and the light field of snow, to the rider’s coat and his mount. Note how the headdress just touches the mountain’s horizon, preparing the eye for the spear tip that breaks that line. We can practically feel the chill wind in the brushstrokes on the horse, its tail and the winter grass. This outstanding and rare Liang is a work of fine art that will be treasured in any home.

Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
21 x 32 in
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Pride of the Piegan

“This is a symbolic painting, rather than a piece depicting a specific person or event,” says artist Z.S. Liang. “This Piegan warrior, holding a spear with a raven feather attached, is wearing a talisman with sun, moon, ermine tail and a golden eagle feather on his hair. He rides a war horse and thunder clouds are moving into the west in the background. With great pride, he is looking at the eastern horizon where the white men coming from. What is in his mind? I intend to leave this question with the viewer.”

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
31 x 48 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
21 x 33 in
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Grandpa’s Blessing

Z.S. Liang continues to be one of the most important artists painting the history of the American West today. His track record of sold out original shows and Fine Art Editions attest to the regard for the painter and the perception of the potential for his work tomorrow. He has a particular knack for portraying intimate details of Native American life, even when his canvases are epic in scale.

“Since early in the 17th century,” begins Liang, “when the horse was introduced to the American Indian on the northern Plains, their life was changed forever. The use of the horse for buffalo hunting made the hunt much more efficient and provided the people with a rich bounty. This exuberant scene shows a summer day in the Blackfeet band camp during the 1870s, after the buffalo scouts have located a large herd nearby. The men gather to ready their buffalo horses, while women excitedly prepare packhorses, travois and meat bags for the coming chase! With this excitement also comes concern, for running the wild herds over the broken country of the Western prairies held a high degree of danger for the mounted hunter. In the painting, a grandfather ties an eagle feather on his grandson’s horsetail as a blessing of safety before the run begins.”

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
61 x 42 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
32 x 22 in
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Eagle Dancer Potawatomi

According to the “Legend of the Eagle” of the Potawatomi Indian tribe, in the beginning, life was lowered to the Earth from the stars like a child born into the world. Awakening from the dream world, the stars transformed into the beautiful creatures and the life of the physical realms of land, sky and water.

From the brightest of all stars, a pure white eagle was created to roam the skies, who then took flight back to the heavens and beyond the stars, searching for his place in the world. Venturing too close to the sun, the great white eagle received burns to the tips of his feathers. Soaring back to the Earth’s sky, the great eagle remained in between the worlds of land, water and the heavens above, flying closest to the great spirit of life and possessing the ability of leaving his physical body and entering the four realms of the spirit world: the physical world of consciousness; the dream world when one sleeps; the world in between life and death when one’s body is damaged or sick; the world of the dead when one passes on, taking the journey to the spirit world.

Possessing the ability of leaving the physical realm and entering the spirit world, the great eagle is the guardian and the keeper if the skies, would remain in between both worlds as a messenger and protector to the great spirit of life.

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
25 x 40 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
19 x 31 in
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Painted Robe for Powder and Ball, Musselshell Valley, Montana, 1840

It’s autumn, two Blackfeet hunters have come to this wilderness outpost with a prime painted buffalo robe and an elk hide to trade for powder and ball.White men drawn to the frontier were quick studies and adept survivors. The man holding the robe runs this Musselshell Valley trading post. He negotiates with the few words of Blackfeet he speaks and sign language. He has also surrounded himself with other fundamental tools of negotiation for this part of the world. Next to him stands a large and robust woodsman whose physical power could be crucial in this dangerous environment. Sitting on the wooden barrow is a well experienced hunter. In his arm, a loaded gun and a pistol in his belt are ready for any sudden threat.

Safety is not the concern of these Blackfeet men, trade is. Both hunters are wearing capotes that have been made from Hudson Bay Company blankets. The older of the two leads their side of the negotiation. From his body language it is apparent that he has had experience in trading with the white people. His less experienced partner waits quietly and carefully observes.

A painted hide could trade for five times the value of a regular hide. This was not only a result of the artwork that adorned it but also because the best hides was the ones chosen for this treatment. He is doing his best to carefully communicate the value of this robe, hoping to make a good deal. Fall is an important hunting season and the additional ammunition this trade can secure will help to provide enough to eat for the long cold Montana winter ahead.

“Painted Robe for Powder and Ball, Musselshell Valley, Montana, 1840″ was unveiled at the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction in 2009. The enormous painting (42″ x 64”) was the talk of the show and sold for $345,000.00!

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
60 x 40 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
46 x 30 in
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Lakota Sash Bearer, 1848

“In a society that honored warfare as life’s central activity, to be chosen as a sash bearer for the Lakota Nation was considered a great honor, reserved only for one who had proven his courage and bravery in battle,” explains, Z.S. Liang. “Bravery was always stressed and was considered one of the greatest virtues among all of the Plains Tribes.”

Sash-wearers were members of the Miwa‘tani or Mandan Society. The owl feather headdress was unique to this tribal fraternity and is associated with an owl-being that appeared in a vision of the founder. The wearers of the “society sashes” took on the obligation to stake themselves down to the ground with their sash during a desperate battle. They would fight in that spot until they were killed or until a fellow society member released them. This warrior has fastened his sash to the earth with a spear and he is positioned in the middle of the battlefield where he will fight to victory or death, encouraging his brothers to stand against their enemy.

The art of Z.S. Liang is regarded as some of the most important and beautiful paintings depicting the Native American experience being created today. His awards include David P. Usher Patrons’ Choice Award from the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale and the President’s Award for Excellence from the Oil Painters of America.

Now you, too, have the opportunity to posses and enjoy this significant work of art.

Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
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Image Size:
30 x 45 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
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Image Size:
22 x 33 in
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War Dance

This is one of Z.S. Liang’s most dynamic visions of Native American life. The passion and might of these warriors is palatable as they twist and whirl around the yellow bonfire flames during this pre-raid ritual.

“The war dance of the Northeast Indian tribes was held before the raid,” relates Liang. “Large fires were lit in the center of the village. The fiercely painted warriors gathered around the fire. The chief would give a speech to convince his people that the forthcoming strike was with the approval and guidance of the Great Spirit. The drum started in a slow pulse rated beat. The excitement heated up as the beat got faster, accompanied by rattling and singing. The war leader took his club and stamped the ground as if to shake the universe then began to dance and sing. Warriors started to rise and join the war dance. As each joined in, they became a volunteer for the raid. The war party was formed strictly by volunteers. War dances were usually held at night.”

“War Dance” is one of the most impressive paintings Z.S. Liang has created. The energy and power of this fine work of art will transform any room in which it hangs.

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Image Size:
46 x 31 in
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Limited Edition Print
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Image Size:
32 x 22 in
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Overlooking Two Medicine River, 1806

“The Blackfeet Indians had a strong sense of territorial rights,” begins Z.S. Liang. “They did not suffer gladly the encroachment by people to whom they had not granted permission. It was generally agreed that a territory not sternly defended was a territory soon to be lost. These Blackfeet warriors are positioned on a vantage point overlooking the Medicine River where recently a party of young braves experienced an unsuccessful encounter with Captain Lewis and three of his men.”

That was the only deadly incident with Native Americans during Lewis and Clark’s entire expedition. On their return trip east Lewis and company met a band of Blackfeet on July 26, 1806, in what is now Pondera County, MT. The two groups camped together. Lewis spoke to the Blackfeet of a U.S. Government peace plan to unite the western tribes. He told them the Nez Perce and Shoshone had accepted the plan and would be receiving guns and supplies in return.

The Blackfeet recognized immediately the threat to their territory and power that this plan entailed. Late that night they tried to steal the Expedition’s guns and in the fight that followed, two Blackfeet were killed. From that point forward, the Blackfeet treated Americans as they would any other potential adversary.

“Overlooking Two Medicine River, 1806” captures the sweeping expanse of the western landscape along with the determined strength of the Blackfeet people. This stunning painting was the centerpiece of Liang’s one man show at Trailside Galleries in the fall of 2011. This work will define any space in which it hangs.

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Image Size:
52 x 34 in
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Limited Edition Print
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Image Size:
38 x 25 in
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Hunting the River Bank

“A Southern Peigan hunter is patiently waiting for a small group of buffalo coming to the river bank for water,” says artist Z.S. Liang. “He is wearing a wolf pelt with golden eagle tail feathers for his hunting medicine. Since the wolf and the eagle are great hunters, the Indian believes this medicine will bring him success.”

Similar to Liang’s Masterwork Canvas , “Solitary Hunter,” and “Woodland Warrior”, this is a portrait of a man at one with his world, part of the cycle of hunting, eating and utilizing every part of the animal for clothing, shelter, decoration and display of honor and bravery. This ability to survive in a wild environment is part of what has intrigued Z.S. Liang for decades. His rural Chinese upbringing was centered on ancient and traditional lifestyles that made it easy for him to relate to the Native American. No resources were wasted in his childhood home, either.

Liang is a regular participant in the Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale at the Autry National Center. He set a new auction record at the 2009 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction for “The Painted Robe,” another fine art edition available in giclée canvas as both a MuseumEdition Canvas and Masterwork Canvas.

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Image Size:
40 x 26 in
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Limited Edition Print
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Image Size:
29 x 19 in
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The Vision Quest

A vision quest often provided the Native American with profound insight into his purpose and destiny in life. Usually a guardian animal or force of nature would visit at some point during the rite and provide the seeker with spiritual guidance and self-identity. This powerful image portrays a young warrior at the beginning of his solitary quest, calling on a guardian spirit to visit him during his days of fasting and seclusion in this mountainous wilderness.

“I paint these people to raise awareness about their bravery and their troubles,” says Liang. He points out that his rural Chinese upbringing was centered on ancient and traditional lifestyles which made it easier for him to relate to the Native Americans. For example, no resources were wasted in his home, much like the Plains Indians who used every part of the buffalo their lives depended on. Liang has made himself into a student of Native American life, both in his personal library and through his time in the field with tribes of today. He is devoted to historical details and to the constant improvement of his own painting skills.

“The Vision Quest” is a stunning and dynamic work by Z.S. Liang. The energy and power of this fine work of art will transform any room in which it hangs.

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Image Size:
25 x 40 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
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Image Size:
19 x 30 in
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Preparing for the Confrontation

Commissioned for the prestigious Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, this painting depicts a group of Piegan Blackfeet warriors who have tracked, for several days, some Crow raiders who have stolen horses from the Piegan home encampment. They paint their faces and signs of war medicine on their horses for protection from harm and success in the impending battle.

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 Giclée Canvas
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Image Size:
40 x 27 in
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Limited Edition Print
 Giclée Canvas
Handsigned by the artist
Image Size:
30 x 20 in
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