Sharp, during the early 1920s, experimented a good deal with musical themes. Song to the Buffalo Skull is representative of Sharp’s pictorial explorations. A smaller work titled John and the Buffalo Skull (location unknown) and a larger, far more complex oil, Ceremonial Song for the Return of the Buffalo (related image 279), were examples of similar, contemporary subjects. In Ceremonial Song for the Return of the Buffalo, the central figure, John Gomez (Hunting Son), wears the same green ribbons in his braids that are pictured in Song to the Buffalo Skull. All of the paintings share a profoundly reverential spirit that harkens back to the disappearance of the bison and the persistent dream of all Plains people that the herds might return someday.
This profile portrait of Gomez in Song to the Buffalo Skull pictures him blessing a buffalo skull with an eagle feather, a practice that Sharp may have been familiar with among the Northern Plains tribes. The decorated skin hanging beside the model was one of Sharp's favorite props, a Crow elk hide robe.
The artist; [?]; Fred T. and Novadean Hogan; present owner by gift
Fenn, 2007, 350 lists three versions of a painting titled Vision of the Past. This is probably one of those works. This painting is probably from the late teens, although it is difficult to confirm since the Sharp Papers do not contain sales catalogues from 1917 and 1918.