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Moonlight Sonata will be included in the Couse catalogue raisonné.

Describing this painting historian Virginia Couse Leavitt wrote, “Crouched on the shore of a lake, Couse’s favorite model, Ben Lujan, plays a flute for his son, Eliseo, who stands behind him. The setting evokes for the viewer the eerie sound of the flute as it might have been heard drifting across the moonlit waters.

“Arriving in Taos in 1902, Couse was inspired by the clear light and brilliant colors he found there. He had long been interested in tonal painting, in which a color scheme based on one predominant hue awakens feelings of reverie and nostalgia. In Taos he began to perfect this genre and he soon became famous for both his moonlight and his firelight paintings.

“The Grand Central Galleries in New York were established in 1922 as a cooperative between artists and patrons. This spectacular painting, shown in the record for April 1923, would have been one of the first painting by Couse shown in that gallery.”

PROVENANCE
Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, New York
Sue D. Hauberg, Rock Island, North Carolina, 1925
Catherine Sweeny
Inherited by John Sweeny, 1995
Sotheby’s, New York, New York, 2001
Mitchell Brown Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2008
Private collection, California

EXHIBITED
Findlay Galleries, Kansas City, Missouri, 1922
The National Academy of Design, New York, New York, 1923
Grand Central Galleries, New York, New York, 1923
Visions of the West: Highlights from the Bloomberg Collection, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California, 2020-21

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