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Original Painting of a Tewa Ram Dancer [SOLD]


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Julián Martinez (1885-1943) Pocano - Coming of the Spirits
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size: 8-3/4” x 11-1/2” image;
    12-1/2” x 15-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3839D
  • SOLD

Artist Signature - Julián Martinez (1885-1943) Pocano - Coming of the SpiritsThis is a superlative painting of a Ram Dancer by Julian Martinez, one of the premier pueblo painters of the early 20th century. This fantastic, evocative, and subtly beautiful image depicts a Ram Dancer in profile, and is executed in watercolor on paper. The figure was created in contour with pencil and then wonderfully realized in opaque pigment, with all the traditional accoutrements of the dancer. The prominent headdress frames the coal-black face of the dancer, with feathered embellishments falling to the rear, over the dancer's back and neck. The dancer wears a white cotton blouse and a traditional black kilt.  Around his waist he wears a woven belt and a belt of brass bells.  The legs are covered in white cotton woven garters tied with red yarn above which is a leather strap with brass bells.  There are feathered dance wands that simulate the front legs of the animal, and embellished moccasins complete the ensemble.  Sections of skunk are tied around the moccasins to ward off evil.


Photo of Julian Martinez copyright Adobe Gallery.  Do not use without permission.Julián Martinez (1885-1943) Pocano - Coming of the Spirits is most often associated with his wife, Maria Martinez, as the painter of her ceramics from the early 1900s until his death in 1943. He did, however, execute paintings on paper as well. He was one of the very early San Ildefonso self-taught easel artists. His watercolor paintings were a minor activity as compared to his brilliant achievements as the decorator of Maria’s pottery. He was painting watercolors before 1920 and continued as time permitted until his death.


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

Provenance: from the collection of a resident of California who inherited her mother’s Native art collection

Recommended ReadingModern by Tradition: American Indian Painting in the Studio Style by Bruce Bernstein

Photo of Julian Martinez copyright Adobe Gallery.  Do not use without permission.  Written on the back of the photograph: 

San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM
Sun 8/23/31
Maria's husband stands beside our car. He was a good natured and a well-mannered fellow. 
Mara is a famous pottery maker. Their work is much in demand. 
I have 4 pieces.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Close up view of the Ram Dancer