A Pair of San Ildefonso Antelope Dancers


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Romando Vigil, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

The artist presented this pair of Antelope Dancers in positions not normally seen in such paintings.  The one Antelope is kneeling, with his arms straight out in front.  The other one is standing in a traditional dance position.  The kneeling dancer could be on a ground plane but the standing one certainly is not.  There is a pair of evergreen trees sprouting from the ground.  Above the dancers is an elaborate rainbow.

Artist Signature - Romando Vigil (1902-1978) Tse Ye Mu - Falling Cloud

A mixture of Deer, Ram, Buffalo and Antelope Dancers participate in the Animal Dance.  The Deer, Rams, and Buffalo are personated by adult males and the Antelope by young boys. The kneeling Antelope Dancer in this painting reflects the antics of a youngster.

Romando Vigil (1902-1978) Tse Ye Mu - Falling Cloud was one of the San Ildefonso self-taught artists in the early part of the 20th century. He was a leader within the San Ildefonso Watercolor Movement, a movement that caught fire during 1915 to 1917. It fostered an art form unmatched in the cultural history of the world. These men portrayed tribal culture and local wildlife, attaining a flat decorative character, absent of background and foreground, and free of traditional perspective, with an unerring color sense. Their success in these presentations was due to their understanding of the ceremonials they painted because they had participated in them since childhood. They understood the meanings of the symbolism.

Condition: very good condition.  The painting is signed in lower right but is very difficult to see.

Provenance:  this painting of A Pair of San Ildefonso Antelope Dancers from a client in New York who purchased it from Babbitt’s at its San Ildefonso Pueblo Gallery many years ago.

Recommended Reading:  Modern by Tradition: American Indian Painting in the Studio Style by Bruce Bernstein

Romando Vigil, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter
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