Untitled Tempera New Mexico Landscape by Carl Von Hassler [SOLD]


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Carl Von Hassler, Southwest Painter

Carl Von Hassler is best known for creating incredible oil paintings of the areas surrounding his adoptive hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  With this piece, he switched to a different medium: tempera. His subjects—a red-roofed house, cottonwood trees, tall mountains—are typical, the tools with which he composed them are not.  It is always exciting to see an artist with whom we are very familiar deviate from their norm. We’ve seen oil paintings, drawings, and prints from Von Hassler; this is the first tempera painting that we’ve handled.

Von Hassler’s work with this piece is of his usual outstanding quality, which is even more impressive when one considers that he completed it in a different medium than his norm.  Von Hassler’s oil paintings are typically very realistic in color and form. Here, with brightly colored, nearly translucent watercolors, his landscape feels preternaturally beautiful.  The trees are alive with orange, red and yellow tones—the colors of fall. For the hills and peaks in the background, Von Hassler chose a bright blue instead of his usual dark purple. This wonderful tempera painting has a warm, nostalgic feeling that will appeal to anyone who appreciates the beauty of the Southwest.

Carl Von Hassler (1887-1969) artist signatureThe painting is signed and dated Von Hassler ‘62' in lower right.  It is framed under wide white matting in a carved frame.

Carl Von Hassler (1887-1969) was born March 18, 1887 to a Dutch father and a French mother on a train in Germany. Von Hassler moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the early 1920s. He was known as the “Dean of the Albuquerque Art Colony.” Born in Bremen, Germany, Von Hassler 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 group of painters who called themselves the “Greenwich Ash Can Group.”  In his early years in Albuquerque, Von Hassler's studio was in the original Casa de Armijo (now La Placita Restaurant) in Old Town. He was best known for his traditional realistic landscapes of New Mexico and his Indian portraits. 

He spent almost half of his 47 years here developing a new painting technique that caused a stir in art circles. "I invented it myself," the artist said. "It is known to no one else." His paintings had an almost ceramic quality with colors that do not fade. He baked the paintings at up to 600 degrees. He also developed what he described as an "atomic substance," which he painted on to withstand the heat. It made his paintings fire and heat resistant.  His works are now collector's items, and many prominent Albuquerqueans own his paintings. He taught privately, and among his better known former pupils are Sam Smith, Ben Turner, Walter Bambrook, Novella King, and Betty Sabo. Von Hassler passed away in Albuquerque on November 30, 1969, at the age of 83. 

Condition: this Untitled Tempera New Mexico Landscape by Carl Von Hassler is in excellent condition

Provenance: private collection

Recommended Reading: The Art of New Mexico - How the West is One: The Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts by Joseph Traugott

Relative Links: Western PaintingsAlbuquerque, New MexicoSam SmithBen TurnerWalter BambrookNovella KingBetty SaboCarl Von Hassler

Close up view of a section of this painting.

Carl Von Hassler, Southwest Painter
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