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Verso:
Label, O’Briens Art Emporium, Scottsdale, Arizona
Label, George Stern Fine Arts, West Hollywood, California

According to Virginia Couse Leavitt, “In Couse’s painting Surprised, two Indians have come across a deer standing in a sunlit opening ahead of them. They crouch in the shadows of the deep forest, motionless so as not to startle the deer. The deer, however, is alert, as if aware of their presence. The element of surprise seems mutual. In this painting, Couse uses one of his favorite devices, which is to place his figures viewed from the back and close to the picture plane, so that the audience becomes a participant in the scene.

“During the summers Couse often took his two favorite models from Taos Pueblo, Ben Lujan and Jerry Mirabal, on field trips into the mountains where he would sketch, paint, and photograph them. The experiences they had during these trips, such as encounters with wild life, provided inspiration for many of his paintings.”

PROVENANCE:
[Brach’s Art Store, Colorado Springs, Colorado]
[O’Brien’s Art Emporium, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1964]
Mrs. John Keickheffer, Phoenix, Arizona, donated to The Museum of Northern Arizona, 1979, de-accessioned through
[William A. Karges Fine Art, Los Angeles, California, 2002]
Marcel Vinh & Dan Hansman, Los Angeles, California, 2003

EXHIBITIONS:
Braus Galleries, New York, 1917

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