Original Painting titled “Aspens in Autumn”

C4767A-paint.jpg

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Carl Von Hassler, Southwest Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Western Artists
  • Medium: Oil on board
  • Size:
    22-½” x 28-⅛” image;
    28-¼” x 34” framed
  • Item # C4767A
  • Price: $7500

"Aspens in Autumn" is an original painting by Carl Von Hassler, a German artist who moved to New Mexico in the 1920s. Von Hassler went on to become one of Albuquerque's most notable artists. His preferred subjects were the landscapes and architecture of New Mexico, and he rendered them with confidence and skill.

Handwritten text on verso identifies exactly what the viewer will see in this image: "Truchas Peak, Sangre de Cristo Range, N.M." Truchas Peak, located in the Pecos Wilderness near Santa Fe, is New Mexico's second highest mountain. Rather than capturing the massive mountain in its entirety, Von Hassler focused on a small corner of the region, offering a serene scene that highlights the vibrant beauty of aspen trees during fall.

Large rocks and four bright orange trees appear in the foreground, rising from the hillside as it moves diagonally across the image. A bit further into background, the aspens appear as a single, dreamy wash of yellow. This feels appropriate given that groups of aspens are large clonal colonies, with most trees linked to the others by their root systems. A cluster of darker trees appears on the right side of the image, contrasting nicely with the soft yellow aspens. A cloudy sky and a few snow-covered mountaintops appear far in the distance. This brilliantly composed, masterfully executed painting deserves the consideration of anyone who appreciates Southwestern imagery.

Artist signature of Carl Von Hassler, Southwest PainterThe painting is signed Von Hassler in lower left. The title, the artist's name, an original price of $500, a note identifying the region depicted, and the number 38 are written on verso, along with several notes on awards and framing/varnish work. We assume that the number 38 dates the piece to 1938. The painting is framed beautifully in a carved frame, with a protective backing that leaves the text on verso visible.

Carl Von Hassler (1887-1969) was born March 18, 1887, to a Dutch father and a French mother on a train in Germany. Von Hassler moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the early 1920s. He was known as the "Dean of the Albuquerque Art Colony." Born in Bremen, Germany, Von Hassler attended the Dusseldorf Art Academy. When he came to the United States, he lived for a while in Greenwich Village in New York and was a member of the famed group of painters who called themselves the "Greenwich Ash Can Group." In his early years in Albuquerque, Von Hassler's studio was in the original Casa de Armijo (now La Placita Restaurant) in Old Town. He was best known for his traditional realistic landscapes of New Mexico and his Indian portraits.

Von Hassler spent almost half of his 47 years here developing a new painting technique that caused a stir in art circles. "I invented it myself," the artist said. "It is known to no one else." His paintings had an almost ceramic quality with colors that did not fade. He baked the paintings at up to 600 degrees. He also developed what he described as an "atomic substance," which he painted on to withstand the heat. It made his paintings fire and heat resistant. Those who knew him had doubts about his statements. His works are now collector's items, and many prominent Albuquerqueans own his paintings. He taught privately, and, among his better-known former pupils are Sam Smith, Ben Turner, Walter Bambrook, Novella King, and Betty Sabo. Von Hassler died in Albuquerque on November 30, 1969, at the age of 83.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Original Painting titled "Aspens in Autumn" is from the estate of a family from Albuquerque

Recommended Reading: Paintings of the Southwest by Arnold Skolnick

TAGS: Western PaintingsAlbuquerque, New MexicoSam SmithBen TurnerWalter BambrookNovella KingBetty SaboCarl Von Hassler

Close-up view of a section of this painting.

Carl Von Hassler, Southwest Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Western Artists
  • Medium: Oil on board
  • Size:
    22-½” x 28-⅛” image;
    28-¼” x 34” framed
  • Item # C4767A
  • Price: $7500

C4767A-paint.jpgC4767A-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.