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Diné - Navajo Painting of a Buffalo Hunt by Quincy Tahoma

C3423-paint.jpg

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Quincy Tahoma (1917-1956) Water Edge - Near Water
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Gouache
  • Size:
    21-3/4” x 17-3/4” image;
    29-1/4” x 24-3/4” framed
  • Item # C3423
  • Price: $3,500.00

Quincy Tahoma (1917-1956) was a talented Navajo painter who was initially educated in the arts by Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School. Alongside fellow Navajo painters like Harrison Begay and Gerald Nailor, Tahoma learned to create simple, boldly-colored watercolor paintings that depicted Native American life and religious rituals. These artists' subjects were usually pictured in profile and with little background or ground plane. These "flat-style" or "studio style" paintings were and still are popular with collectors of Native American Art.

Tahoma, a naturally gifted artist, evolved quickly as a painter. His earlier works focused mostly on everyday Navajo life—the scenes he witnessed every day during his childhood. As with other Diné artists, horses were a favorite subject of Tahoma's. They'd been a part of the Navajo lifestyle since the arrival of the Spanish in the 1600's. As the artist grew older and more technically adept, he focused his attention on more complicated scenes. Many of his best images feature Navajo hunters clashing with their surroundings. His works are full of movement and action, but rarely feel violent or indulgent. Tahoma's life and career were, unfortunately, cut short by alchoholism. He passed away in 1956 at the young age of 39. Fortunately for those who appreciate his talents, he was very prolific and left behind a large body of work.

This image is classic Quincy Tahoma: a hunter on horseback, bow drawn and arrow ready, taking aim at a buffalo. The hunter himself brims with masculine energy but is not without more delicate touches. His face—which the viewer sees from the side—is comprised of the gentle, sensitive curved lines that were favored by the best of the Navajo traditionalists. The horse, too, is muscular and full of energy as it pursues its rider's potential prize. The buffalo is a technical highlight of the piece. Tahoma gave the animal a remarkable amount of depth by layering various shades of brown and gray. Like the horse, the buffalo is pictured in stride.

Tahoma wisely placed this intense scene within subtly beautiful surroundings. The action takes place atop a gently curving hillside. Three thick lines, made of different shades of brown, define the hill's shape. Soft oranges and yellows fill out the hills, adding texture and a welcome dose of warm, inviting color. A gorgeous translucent blue defines the horizon and augments the orange hills in the forefront.  This is an exemplary Quincy Tahoma painting that will appeal to those who appreciate fine Navajo artwork.

It is signed and dated "50" (1950) in lower right. The frame appears to be original to the painting.

 

Conition: this Diné - Navajo Painting of a Buffalo Hunt by Quincy Tahoma is in very good condition

Provenance: from the estate of Charles R. and Gene V. Greer, Texas

Recommended Reading: Quincy Tahoma: Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist by Charnell Havens, et. al.

Note: when we say Diné, as opposed to Navaho or Navajo, we are referring to the people and not the government.  Since 1969, their government refers to itself as the Navajo Nation.  

 

Quincy Tahoma (1917-1956) Water Edge - Near Water
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Gouache
  • Size:
    21-3/4” x 17-3/4” image;
    29-1/4” x 24-3/4” framed
  • Item # C3423
  • Price: $3,500.00

C3423-paint.jpgC3423-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.