Original Navajo Painting titled “Grand Canyon Beauty” by Quincy Tahoma

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Quincy Tahoma, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    14-1/2” x 9-3/8” image;
    22-3/4" x 17-1/2” framed
  • Item # C4305A
  • Price: $2,500.00

This painting by influential early Diné painter Quincy Tahoma was created in 1953. We have handled many Tahoma paintings over the years, but we've never seen one quite like this. The image, titled "Grand Canyon Beauty," features two deer perched at the edge of the titular landmark. Tahoma's color palette is exciting, with a wide variety of tones on top of salmon-colored paper. The canyon's walls are made of soft pinks, purples, and whites; with touches of bright blue. The plants in the foreground are made of bright oranges and yellows. The deer themselves provide a nice touch of gray, black and white to the otherwise vibrant image.

Tahoma’s earlier works focused mostly on everyday Navajo life—the scenes he witnessed every day during his childhood. As he grew older and more technically adept, he focused his attention on more complicated scenes. Many of his best images feature muscular Navajo hunters clashing with their surroundings. His works are full of movement and action, but rarely feel too violent or indulgent.  “Grand Canyon Beauty” is a rare late-career work that does not focus on action and movement. This peaceful, serene image recalls his early-career subjects but is executed with his late-career skill.

Artist Signature - Quincy Tahoma, Water Edge (Near Water)The painting is signed and dated “Tahoma ‘53” in lower right.  Tahoma’s signature cartouche image shows the two deer running at full speed.  The painting is framed under glass, using archival materials and a simple wood frame.

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, bold watercolor paintings that depicted Native 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’s life and career were, unfortunately, cut short by alcoholism. He passed away in 1956, at age 39. Fortunately for those who appreciate his work, he was very prolific and left behind a large body of work.


Condition: this Original Navajo Painting titled "Grand Canyon Beauty" by Quincy Tahoma is in excellent condition

Provenance: private New Mexico collection

Recommended Reading: Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist by Charnell Havens and Vera Marie Badertscher

Realtive Links: Quincy TahomaNavajo ReservationTaosSan JuanSan IldefonsoPainting

Close up view of a section of this painting.

Quincy Tahoma, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    14-1/2” x 9-3/8” image;
    22-3/4" x 17-1/2” framed
  • Item # C4305A
  • Price: $2,500.00

C4305A-paint.jpgC4305A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.