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Verso:
Signed with title and painting number

Navajo Mother is number 741 on Maynard Dixon’s master painting list.

According to Donald J. Hagerty, “Part imagination, part invention, and drawn from memories based on actual trips to the Navajo country as early as 1902, Navajo Mother reflects Dixon’s sense of quiet drama. With the rich red color of Navajo Sandstone formations as background and the strong shapes of the figures, it seems he has dipped his paintbrush in the soil of Navajo country. Dixon’s master painting list indicates that he only painted three works with Native American subjects in the last year and a half of his life. This is one of them. Most likely the painting was done as a commission. With his fluid, robust draftsmanship, a fine taste for bold color and the skills needed to use it, Dixon was able to organize abstract elements on the canvas into a coherent pattern. The painting no doubt started with Dixon selecting small sketches as guides then developing the overall picture through the elimination of extraneous detail and rearrangement of the composition so that only the vital elements remain. A noted San Francisco art critic once remarked that ‘you could spot a Maynard Dixon painting through a brick wall.’”

PROVENANCE:
Gale Bell, Sacramento, California

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