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Couse historian Virginia Couse Leavitt writes, “Couse was famous for his paintings of firelight. Indian by Firelight, depicting his favorite model Ben Lujan squatting beside a fire playing a large Taos drum, is an outstanding example of this genre. The firelight hits Ben’s face, revealing his intense concentration, while the deep sound of the drum beat is evoked by the warm tonality of the palette. The dark round base of the drum on the left, is contrasted on the right by a large pottery olla highlighted by firelight. The pieces of pottery in the painting as well as the drum and beaded moccasins were from Couse’s collection and can still be seen in his Taos studio at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site.”

PROVENANCE
Mrs. August, Rye, NY
[Biltmore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA]
Anschutz Collection, Denver, CO
[Grand Central Galleries, New York, NY]
[The Coeur d’Alene Auction, Coeur d’Alene, ID 1996]
Private Collection, NY 1996
Private Collection, TX

LITERATURE
Ida Sizer Cassidy, “Art and Artists of New Mexico,” New Mexico Magazine, v. 10, no. 8 (August 1932), p 32, illustrated

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