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Label, The Rees-Jones Collection, Dallas, Texas

By the Fire will be included in the E. I. Couse Catalogue Raisonné.

Virginia Couse Leavitt writes, “This is a classic Couse firelight painting, a genre for which Couse was famous. Here, Ben Lujan, his favorite model from Taos Pueblo, is seen crouched before a fireplace where he is roasting ears of corn. Multiple ears, still in their husks, sit on the hearth, while the ears that have already been roasted fill a basket to the left. The contemplative attitude of the Indian as he goes about his work enhances his spiritual awareness of the significance of corn in Indian life where corn is both a staple food but also an important ceremonial object. Ceremonially, sprinklings of corn pollen or corn meal are used as spiritual offerings, or are applied to the body for ritual adornment.”

Sotheby’s, New York, New York, 2000
Larry and Utta Kravet, Hewlett Bay Park, New York
Private collection

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