Harrison Begay Painting of Young Man with Lamb on Horseback

C4536C-paint.jpg

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Harrison Begay, Diné Artist of the Navajo Nation
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: casein
  • Size:
    12-½” 14-¼” image;
    21" x 22-⅞” framed
  • Item # C4536C
  • Price: $2500

This original painting was created by influential Diné artist Harrison Begay.  It likely dates to the 1960s, a very strong period for Begay.  During this time, he seems to have reached a peak, at least as far as technical abilities go.  His works from this period are incredibly precise, with strong, bright colors and exceptional linework.

The painting features a young Diné man on horseback.  He holds a lamb close to his chest, staring straight ahead as the group travels across the desert.  These figures are exceptionally well-crafted in every way, with remarkable depth and detail throughout.  In the background, Begay created a wonderful landscape.  Sandstone mesas rise from the horizon, with warm orange light emanating from their peaks.  The orange shifts to a lighter tone before disappearing into a sky filled with birds and purple clouds.  The image feels warm, inviting, and well-balanced. This is a wonderful example of the fantastic work produced by Harrison Begay in the 1960s.

Artist Signature of Harrison Begay, Diné Artist of the Navajo NationThe painting is signed Haskay Yahne Yah in lower left and Harrison Begay in lower right.  It is framed under conservation glass, with matting that matches the paper’s color and a textured wood frame with gold interior bands.

Harrison Begay was a world-renowned Diné (Navajo) painter who is generally regarded as one of the most successful and influential early Native American painters.  Begay studied under Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930s, and then attended colleges in North Carolina and Arizona. From 1942 to 1945, he served in the US Army Signal Corps.  In 1947, Begay returned to the Navajo reservation, where he enjoyed a long and productive career as a painter. He is known to have continued painting into his 90s. Begay passed away in 2012.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Harrison Begay Painting of Young Man with Lamb on Horseback is from the collection of a family from Arizona

Recommended Reading: Indian Painters of the Southwest: The Deep Remembering by Katherin Chase

Close up view of the rider.