Quincy Tahoma Original Painting of Mountain Lion, Wolf, and Buffalo

C4693B-paint.jpg

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Quincy Tahoma, Diné of the Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    22-¼” x 15” image;
    28-⅞” x 21-¾” framed
  • Item # C4693B
  • Price: $4250

Artist signature of Quincy Tahoma, Diné of the Navajo Nation PainterThis original painting was created in 1950 by Diné of the Navajo Nation painter Quincy Tahoma. With this impressive painting, Tahoma offers a thrilling hunt scene featuring a buffalo, a mountain lion, and a wolf. The buffalo occupies much of the image, kicking up dust while attempting to escape. The mountain lion clings to the buffalo's back, looking down and swiping a paw at the leaping wolf. A serene mountain landscape, birds, and warm orange clouds appear in the background, contrasting the rowdy foreground scene and bringing the image into balance.

Tahoma was a highly skilled painter with a keen eye for action. Here, he created highly detailed figures with much to offer in the way of depth and texture. Strong linework and thoughtful application of hazy, earth-toned watercolors resulted in figures that look incredibly realistic. This is an excellent example of Quincy Tahoma's work.

The painting is signed and dated Tahoma ‘50 in lower right. As is common for a Tahoma painting, a small illustration above the signature shows what happens after that which is depicted in the painting. In this case, the buffalo lies on the ground as the wolf and mountain lion continue to fight for dominance over the kill.  Extreme hunger must have brought these two hunters together for a rare encounter.

The greatest differences between a mountain lion and a wolf include their size, speed, and predatory behavior. Mountain lions are ambush predators that weigh between 60 lbs and 198 lbs and run 30 mph, but wolves are persistent predators that weigh between 80 lbs and 150 lbs and reach top speeds of 35 mph.

So, who would win this fight? According to AZ Animals, a mountain lion would win a fight against a wolf. Mountain lions have a size advantage, a power advantage, and more weapons in their arsenal to kill a wolf. If the mountain lion successfully ambushed a wolf, the fight is immediately over, and the wolf is dead due to a pierced skull or ripped throat. The two animals may meet on an even playing field though. In that case, the wolf would try to harry the mountain lion using its superior speed. That's a good technique, but if the mountain lion can counter, which it will with its agility, then the wolf is going to give as good as it gets on every exchange. The wolf must bite to hurt the mountain lion. The mountain lion can use its deadly claws at a range to hurt the wolf and it can use its powerful bite. At some point, the two would probably exchange bites, and the long teeth, precision, and cunningness of the mountain lion would allow that animal to come out on top.

Quincy Tahoma (1917-1956) Water Edge (Near Water) was an influential Diné painter who lived a short life but made a significant impression in the world of Native art. Dorothy Dunn praised his talents in her book American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas: "Tohoma's [sic] style changed from serenity to one expressive of near violence—from quiet, pastoral scenes and orderly ceremonial patterns to highly agitated portrayals of animals, hunts, and battles that glorified struggle and cruelty. Yet it is the latter work for which he is most recognized, and which extends his natural powers of draftsmanship and imagination. Through his individual studies of foreshortening and anatomy, Tohoma [sic] won for his pictures high praise from academically trained artists of note, and the admiring response of the public. Whatever one may think of these later paintings as Indian art, he must recognize the command of techniques and devices of the artist's own making which convey the opposition and impact of brutal contests in all sorts of situations on the hunting ranges of the old days." Tahoma passed away in 1956, at just 39 years of age.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Quincy Tahoma Original Painting of Mountain Lion, Wolf, and Buffalo is from a private collection

Reference: American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn

Recommended Reading: Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist by Charnell Havens and Vera Marie Badertscher

TAGS: NavajoNative American PaintingsQuincy Tahoma

Alternate view of a close-up of a section of this painting.

Quincy Tahoma, Diné of the Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    22-¼” x 15” image;
    28-⅞” x 21-¾” framed
  • Item # C4693B
  • Price: $4250

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