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    Description

    JULIUS ROLSHOVEN (American 1858-1930)
    Sun Arrow, circa 1916-1920
    Oil on canvas
    36 x 28 inches (58.4 x 71.1 cm)
    Signed and inscribed upper left: "Sun Arrow"/Taos, N.M./J. Rolshoven

    Provenance:Dorothy and William Harmsen, Sr. (Denver, Colorado)

    Literature:
    Van Daren Coke, Taos and Santa Fe: The Artist's Environment 1182-1942 (Albuquerque, New Mexico: The University of New Mexico Press, 1963);
    Arrell Morgan Gibson, The Santa Fe and Taos Colonies: Age of the Muses, (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983);
    Dorothy Harmsen, American Western Art (Denver, Colorado: Harmsen Publishing Company, 1977), p. 173 (reproduced)

    Rolshoven was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father Frederick was a master goldsmith of German descent who founded one of Detroit's leading jewelry firms. Rolshoven studied at the Cooper Union in New York, the Dusseldorf Academy, the Munich Art Academy, privately with Frank Duveneck in Germany and Italy, and to the Académie Julien in Paris. After teaching art in Paris from 1890 to 1895, Rolshoven moved to London where he continued teaching for seven years. From there he moved to Florence, where he settled in 1902. Rolshoven returned to America following the outbreak of World War I. In 1915, he and his wife Harriette were impressed by the beauty of the New Mexico Building at the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. The experience motivated them to travel to New Mexico in early 1916. Captivated by Sante Fe and Taos, they spent nearly five years living in the state. Rolshoven remarked that he had 'traveled all over . . . in search of atmosphere, but nowhere else have I seen nature ever provide everything, even the conception, as it does in New Mexico' (Gibson, p. 11).

    Rolshoven became an Associate Member of the Taos Society of Artists in 1917 and an Active Member in 1918. He had a studio at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, but often worked outdoors in a tent especially prepared for outdoor sketching. This tent helped soften the effect of the harsh New Mexico light. Rolshoven painted portraits, landscapes, genre and allegorical scenes featuring Pueblo Indians. He executed these works both in New Mexico and working from studies back in Italy. In New Mexico he formed friendships with various Native American chiefs and medicine men.

    The subject of Sun Arrow, is a Taos war chief who also figures in a large 90 by 72 inch canvas in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which features him astride a white horse and holding aloft a war shield decorated with eagle feathers. In style, Sun Arrow reflects Rolshoven's continued devotion to the dark, painterly realist approach he learned under Duveneck's tutelage in Europe, and which ultimately derives from such 17th-century masters as Frans Hals. The painting also reveals that the artist never tried to adjust to the Southwest's relentless light. His method, however, beautifully and successfully portrays the the dusky skin tones of the former warrior. Van Deren Coke astutely noted that Rolshoven's western portraits 'were illuminated by a subdued warm glow which accentuated the color of the Indians' skin and reduced the sharpness of the shadows' (Coke, p. 35).


    Condition Report*: original unlined condition, surface thinly painted
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    24th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,162

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