San Ildefonso Pueblo Avanyu and Clowns by JD Roybal [R]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

J.D. Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

Themes of life at San Ildefonso Pueblo are highlighted in this significant painting by acclaimed artist JD Roybal. Made in the classic Native American "flat" style popularized by students of Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School, this piece offers a lot to the viewer.

The Avanyu is known as the Pueblo water serpent deity, and as such, is seen on many artworks in the Southwest due to the importance of water in this region. In Roybal's painting he includes two large intertwined Avanyu, which dominate much of the scene. The Avanyu feature arrows at the end of their tails, similar to the ones coming out of each of their mouths. On the bodies of each are triangular geometric patterns.

Sitting atop a spherical beam as well as on the Avanyu are five koshare, dressed in typical regalia. Clowns play an important role in pueblo culture, and are usually there to add comedic relief to very serious rituals, although they have many other purposes which include social commentary, weather rituals, behavioral enforcement, and shaming of anyone who is not compliant with social customs. Their humor is used to point out those things that are not acceptable.

The bottom of the painting contains a thick horizontal box spanning the length of the painting, and inside of this box are zigzag patterns. The zigzags are painted in a cream color with blue above and white below. Above this box there is a traditional olla. Pottery making is an ancient and sacred practice to those living at San Ildefonso Pueblo. In this painting, the pot is seen inside a kiva design.

Artist signature of JD Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo PainterThe painting is set on a beige background and contains a light green mat. It is signed in the bottom right corner JD Roybal. It is framed in a simple black frame.

Artist J.D. Roybal was a well-known San Ildefonso Pueblo painter. He used water-based paints throughout his career. His excellent detail in small paintings never went unnoticed. In his work there prevails fine color, excellent detail, small and fine outlines, gesturing figures, and a pleasing combination of heavy conventional themes with realistic subjects.

He did a bit of painting in the 1930s but was not very productive until the 1950s. He was most productive in the 1960-1970 decade. His most popular subject matter was his rendition of the Tewa Clowns known as Koshare or Koosa. Often, he presented them in a jovial manner.

José Desiderio (J.D.) Roybal (1922 - 1978) Oquwa (Rain God) was born at San Ildefonso, the son of Tonita and Juan Cruz Roybal. He was a nephew of famous artist Alfonso Roybal (Awa Tsireh).

Condition: this painting of San Ildefonso Pueblo Avanyu and Clowns by JD Roybal is in very good condition

Provenance: we sold this to a client in 2003 and now have it back to sell because the family is downsizing and moving to a new resident.

Recommended Reading: American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn

TAGS: San Ildefonso PuebloTonita and Juan Cruz RoybalAlfonso Roybal - Awa TsirehNative American PaintingJ.D. Roybal

Alternate close-up view of a section of this painting.

J.D. Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter
C4808-paint.jpgC4808-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.