J.D. Roybal Pair of Pueblo Paintings of Deer and Ram Dancers [SOLD]


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J.D. Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

Close up view of the Ram Dancers.

This pair of small original paintings was created by J.D. Roybal, a San Ildefonso Pueblo artist.  He created many smaller-scaled images like these during his career, but each one is a pleasure to explore.  Roybal had a keen eye for depth and detail.  The paintings themselves are small, and between the figures and the backgrounds, there’s a lot going on.  What’s most impressive is that everything seems to fit naturally and comfortably within the borders of these small images.

Here, we have a pair of paintings, each of which contains a pair of animal dancers.  Up above, Ram Dancers move in unison.  Down below, Deer Dancers perform, moving in the opposite direction of the Rams.  Roybal’s work with these figures is fantastic, with sharp, precise linework and sparse but effective shading.  The dancers’ feet are planted firmly on the dry desert ground, which ultimately leads to rows of Pueblo buildings on the horizon.  These paintings are wonderful examples of J.D. Roybal’s work, and the decision to frame and display them as a pair was a wise one.

Signature of J.D. Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo PainterEach painting is signed J.D. Roybal in lower right.  They are framed together, under speckled gray matting with red and black interior bands, in a carved wood frame.

José Disiderio “J. D.” Roybal (1922-1978) Oquwa - “Rain God” was a talented and accomplished painter from San Ildefonso Pueblo.  He is best known for his colorful and detailed depictions of San Ildefonso ceremonial rituals. He was a prolific artist, producing many small, single-figure pieces for sale.  Most of these works—in keeping with the “flat” style favored by Pueblo painters of the time—contain no background or ground plane. Roybal painted a bit during his youth but became much more productive during the 1950s.  He exhibited and sold his works most frequently and successfully during the 1960s.  He was the nephew of early San Ildefonso painter Awa Tsireh.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this J.D. Roybal Pair of Pueblo Paintings of Deer and Ram Dancers is from the collection of a client from Arizona

Recommended Reading: Clara Lee Tanner.  Southwest Indian Painting: a Changing Art 

Relative Links: San Ildefonso PuebloTonita and Juan Cruz RoybalAlfonso Roybal - Awa TsirehpaintingTewaJ.D. Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo Painter

Close up view of the Deer Dancers.