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Original Painting of a Corn Dance Procession at San Ildefonso [SOLD]


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José Desiderio (J.D.) Roybal [1922-1978] Oquwa - Rain God
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: watercolor on paper
  • Size:
    10” x 14” image;
    18-1/8” x 20-1/4” framed
  • Item # C3524F
  • SOLD

Special Value Offer: we have been authorized to offer this at a price reduction of 30% from the original price of $2950 to $2000.

José Disiderio (J.D.) Roybal [1922-1978] Oquwa - Rain God was an accomplished artist.  He spent a considerable amount of his time painting small notecard size paintings of a single dancer or two, but occasionally he painted a large painting of a Corn Dance or Harvest Dance scene such as this one.  This painting has 16 dancers in a procession line.  The women carry evergreen twigs in both hands and the men have evergreen twigs in one hand and a gourd rattle in the other. It is the summer Corn Dance, a time when the banner carrier does not participate.

In traditional pueblo art style, there are no background figures or ground plane.  The only imagery other than the dancers is the abstract cloud formation.  The women dance bare feet and the men wear moccasins.  The painting is signed J. D. Roybal in lower right.  There is no date. 

Signature of José Disiderio (J.D.) Roybal [1922-1978] Oquwa - Rain God Roybal, whose full name was José Disiderio Roybal, and who’s Tewa name was Oquwa (Rain God), was a well-known painter from San Ildefonso Pueblo. He was born on November 7, 1922 at San Ildefonso, the son of Tonita and Juan Cruz Roybal. He passed away June 28, 1978. He was a nephew of Alfonso Roybal (Awa Tsireh).

He did a bit of painting in the 1930s but was not very productive until the 1950s. He was most productive in the 1960-1970 decade. His most popular subject matter was his rendition of the Tewa Clowns known as Koshare or Koosa. Often he presented them in a jovial manner.  He used water-based paints throughout his career. His excellent detail in small paintings never went unnoticed. In his work there prevails fine color, excellent detail, small and fine outlines, gesturing figures, and a pleasing combination of heavy conventional themes with realistic subjects.


Condition:  appears to be in original condition but has not been examined out of the frame

Provenance: from the estate collection of a family from New York

Recommended Reading: Southwest Indian Painting: A Changing Art by Clara Lee Tanner

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