Original Painting of San Francisco de Assisi Church at Ranchos de Taos [SOLD]

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Carl Von Hassler (1887-1969)

Image Source of Carl Von Hassler: courtesy of Esther E. Berrenberg Estate (do not copy).While most artists who came to New Mexico in the early 20th century settled in Taos or Santa Fe, Carl Von Hassler made Albuquerque his home. He moved to Albuquerque from New York in the early 1920s. He became known as the “Dean of the Albuquerque Art Colony.” Born in Bremen, Germany, he 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 painters who called themselves the “Greenwich Ash Can Group.”

His studio, Casa de Armijo, was in Old Town where today’s La Placita restaurant stands. It is said he liked to hang out at the bar of the now demolished Franciscan Hotel on Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque, telling stories and sketching.  His murals depicting the history of New Mexico are found at the historic Kimo theatre and the Old Airport terminal in Albuquerque. Although he resided in Albuquerque, he loved the landscapes of Northern New Mexico, painting the mountains and the changing seasonal vistas of the Sangre de Cristos.

The unique architecture of the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church in Taos has made it a popular subject for many artists.  Ansel Adams famously photographed the church and Georgia O’Keeffe painted an entire series looking at the building from different perspectives. Von Hassler was one of many who was captivated by the towering form and sculptural shape of the church.

Carl Von Hassler (1887-1969) signatureVon Hassler captured the magnificence of the iconic Taos landmark in this rare night scene of the mission church in winter.  While images of the Taos church are many, Von Hassler created an extraordinary and unusual night scene of the famous building. With creatively placed brushstrokes, he delineated moon shadows formed by the angles of the adobe walls of the church standing beneath the Sangre de Cristo Mountains under a star-studded sky. The painting evokes the feelings of quiet and stillness of a cold, crisp winter evening in Taos. In an offbeat twist, the artist did not put the painting under a mat but drew a thin line where the mat would have been, giving the illusion of a mat.  It is signed in lower left but not dated. Von Hassler passed away in 1969 so it is likely that the painting was completed before 1950 when he was young and travelled more frequently.


Condition: The painting is in good condition. The artist framed the piece himself and the painting is in its original frame, which at one time had been painted. The paint was removed, leaving the frame a plain wood color.

Provenance: this Original Painting of San Francisco de Assisi Church at Ranchos de Taos is from a family in Los Lunas, New Mexico

Recommended Reading: Masters of Western Art by Mary Nelson

Image Source of Carl Von Hassler: courtesy of Esther E. Berrenberg Estate (do not copy).

Relative Links: European American Paintings, Carl Von Hassler

Close up view of a section of the Church.

Carl Von Hassler (1887-1969)
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