Indian Village encapsulates several of the techniques and styles that Sharp encountered throughout his artistic career. Having studied in Cincinnati, Antwerp, Munich, and Paris in the 1880s and 90s, Sharp was exposed to long-standing as well as burgeoning movements in the art world and often combined elements from each to create scenes that expressed his identity as an artist. This painting is a prime example of Sharp’s combination of influences.
Post-Impressionism, Impressionism, and Realism were art movements that significantly influenced Sharp’s work, to varying degrees within each of his paintings. Elements of all three of these movements can be strongly seen in Sharp’s style and subject matter in Indian Village. The choice of color and tone speaks to the palette of an Impressionist artist, with cool, yet deep blues and purples and warm yellow-greens and orangey-pinks. The application of paint is where Sharp employs Post-Impressionistic techniques. Particularly in his rendering of the mountains and sky, each daub of paint is visible and sits parallel to its counterparts, producing a vertical effect highlighted by the dimensions of the canvas. The water and foreground are softer and impressionistically rendered.
In terms of Realism, Indian Village depicts a typical scene of Indian life, which Sharp strove to capture as authentically as possible. Authenticity was almost always a goal of Sharp’s, and here, that goal is achieved. Small groups of figures stand around and inside the teepees, nestled in the trees along the side of the river in the foreground. One lone figure stoops and sits by the river, casting a reflection onto its surface. There is nothing grandiose about the scene. Instead, Sharp strives to portray these Native Americans during a moment of their daily life.
In addition, Sharp does not miss the chance to depict the interior of the teepees through his mastery of painting the effects of light. The delicacy Sharp displays in his renderings of the hints of figures within the structures is truly remarkable. In order to achieve this delicacy, Sharp turns away from impressionism and post-impressionist brushwork in these areas, substituting a tighter, yet soft application of paint.