Original Painting of Diné Shepherdess by Arthur Begay

C4490F-paint.jpg

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Arthur C. Begay, Sr., Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: casein
  • Size:
    11-½” x 17-½” image;
    19-¾” x 25-¾” framed
  • Item # C4490F
  • Price: $1250

This original painting was created by Diné artist Arthur C. Begay, Sr.  Begay’s subject here is a Diné shepherdess.  She’s positioned on the right side of the painting, beneath a tree, watching over her flock.  The sheep are spread out across the bottom of the image, moving in unison across the arid desert.  A second tree rises from behind the flock.  Further into the background, the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley rise into the sky.  A cloud design made of a series of linked blue semicircles is reminiscent of those that appear in the works of Harrison Begay and Beatien Yazz.  This is a fine example of traditional Diné painting.  We hope to see more work from this artist in the future.

Arthur C. Begay, Sr. (1932-2010) artist signatureThe painting is signed Arthur C. Begay in lower right.  It is framed under a blue mat in a carved wood frame.  We have only handled two of Begay’s works in the past, and we are pleased to come across another.  His work is soft and beautiful, and will likely appeal to those who appreciate traditional Diné paintings.

Arthur Begay shared his time between being an electrician and an artist.  He was born in 1931 or 1932—references differ— on the Navajo Reservation at Newcomb, New Mexico.  He attended Phoenix (AZ) High School and Famous Artist’s School in Westport, Connecticut.  He lived for most of his life near Newcomb, New Mexico, not far from Two Grey Hills Trading Post. In the 1950s, he won a fellowship to study under the famous Saturday Evening Post illustrator, Norman Rockwell, and spent a year working in Rockwell's studio in Westport, CT.  Arthur's work has many characteristic features learned from Rockwell, yet he was at the same time a known Navajo artist and an elusive character. He seemed to be somewhat nomadic, as is traditionally Navajo, and not necessarily interested in either fame or fortune. The quality of his work, when it is available, is what earned him recognition.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Original Painting of Diné Shepherdess by Arthur Begay is from the estate of a Santa Fe resident

Recommended Reading: Brody, J. J. Indian Painters and White Patrons, UNM Press, Albuquerque, 1971

Relative Links: NavajoThe Biographical Directory of Native American PaintersNative American PaintingsArthur C. Begay, Sr., Navajo Nation Painter

Close up view of a section of this painting.


Arthur C. Begay, Sr., Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: casein
  • Size:
    11-½” x 17-½” image;
    19-¾” x 25-¾” framed
  • Item # C4490F
  • Price: $1250

C4490F-paint.jpgC4490F-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.