Julián Martinez Pueblo Painting of Animals and Rainbow [SOLD]


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Julián Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

This original painting was created by San Ildefonso Pueblo artist Julián Martinez.  His subject here is a group of animals under a colorful rainbow.  On the right side, a wide-eyed skunk peeks out from behind the foot of the rainbow.  On the left side, a family of chickens flees the scene.  The mother hen protects the two chicks as the rooster stands and faces the skunk.

Julián Martinez’ work here is excellent. One cannot help but be enchanted by the chicks and their protective parents.  The skunk—a favorite subject of Martinez’ that appears often in his work—is charmingly animated.  The rainbow uses three bands of soft pastel color to frame the animals’ interaction.  Up above, a stylish sun face design with inverted kiva steps completes the image.  The painting’s subject matter is whimsical and appealing, and the way it is executed is stylish and well-balanced.

Artist Signature of Julián Martinez (1885-1943) Pocano “Coming of the Spirits”The painting is signed Julian Martinez in lower right.  It is framed under an off-white mat in a carved, gold-stained frame.

Julián Martinez (1885-1943) Pocano “Coming of the Spirits” was an artist who was born, lived most of his life, and died at the small but artistically rich San Ildefonso Pueblo. He is perhaps best known for painting designs onto the pottery vessels created by his wife—the famous San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez.  He painted works on paper, too, and did so successfully despite receiving no formal art education. He was the father of Popovi Da and the grandfather of Tony Da, both of whom went on to become famous and successful artists themselves. Martinez was an important part of two major artistic movements: the beginnings of both black-on-black San Ildefonso pottery and traditional “flat style” pueblo painting.  Martinez passed away in 1943.

Condition: very good condition.  A few very small imperfections in the paper, which is typical for works from this period.

Provenance:  from the collection of a Canadian man who inherited it from his parents.  They were "avid tourists in the Southwest in the early part of the 20th century".  They acquired the painting during one of their trips; exactly where and when is unknown.

Recommended Reading: NATIVE AMERICAN PAINTING - Selections from the Museum of the American Indian by David M. Fawcett and Lee A. Collander

Relative Links: San Ildefonso PuebloMaria MartinezPopovi DapotterypaintingsJulián Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo PainterTony Da

Close up view of a section of this painting.