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According to Virginia Couse Leavitt, “The domestic scene of an Indian man bathed in the warm light emanating from a Pueblo fireplace, is one to which Couse returned many times. Each painting, however, brings its own special character to the subject. In this 1917 version, the scene is one of utter serenity, enhanced by a warm tonal palette of beige, yellow and red. The Indian is lost in thought, oblivious to the meal cooking over the embers.

“Although the scene was intended to depict a Pueblo setting, it was actually painted in the corner of Couse’s studio, where he had built an Indian style fireplace so pictures such as this could be painted in the privacy of his own home. The Indian in the painting is Ben Lujan, his favorite model from Taos Pueblo. The vessels seen on the fireplace shelf are examples of Pueblo pottery from the artist’s own collection. They can be seen today in Couse’s studio at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site in Taos.”

PROVENANCE:
The Artist
Vose Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
Frederick P. Bowden, Melrose, Massachusetts, 1918
Present owner, by descent

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