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    WILLIAM HERBERT DUNTON (American, 1878-1936)
    Heart of the Rockies
    Oil on canvas
    14 x 14 inches (35.6 x 35.6 cm)
    Signed lower right: W. Herbert Dunton

    Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, #B2231 (label verso).

    Like many of his contemporaries in the early decades of the twentieth century, W.H. Dunton gradually moved from a representational style based on the careful observation of nature to a more modernist approach that emphasized line, form, color, and the juxtaposition of shapes rather than a literal translation of a particular subject. Although he never lost his interest in portraying the land, people, and animals of the American West, toward the end of his career Dunton developed a style quite different from his earlier efforts.

    Of all of the original members of the Taos Society of Artists, Dunton was perhaps the most "western." His early career was largely driven by his successful work as an illustrator for the leading publications of the day. He specialized in scenes of cowboys and American Indians and was adept at capturing the essence of the Old West. However, by 1914 Dunton was tiring of the demands inherent in the work of illustration and wanted to confine his efforts to studio painting. By then he was a member of New York's prestigious Salmagundi Club where he formed friendships with many other artists, including Ernest Blumenschein, an artist who became both a trusted friend and mentor. It was through his association with Blumenschein that Dunton became aware of Taos, New Mexico. He moved there in 1914 and was one of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists in 1915.

    Although Dunton continued to work part time as an illustrator until 1923, the majority of his studio time was spent pursuing subjects of his own choosing as opposed to that of an editor in New York. His work became less realistic with each passing year in Taos.

    Highly influenced by Blumenschein, who in turn had been greatly affected by the modern art on display at the Armory Show in New York in 1913, and his fellow Taos artist E.M. Hennings, Dunton began exploring new ways of artistic expression. His realistic scenes of cowboys on bucking broncos began to be replaced by scenes such as the one in Heart of the Rockies. Here, Dunton creates a harmonious blend of similar shapes and colors that combined give an impression of a mountain forest rather than a photographic snapshot. Colors and shapes blend together; the distant mountains, nearby trees, the stream, and even the deer are united by the use of broad brush strokes that are rich in texture and color. Although representational in its rendering of the deer and mountain scenery, the impact of the painting is in its conveyance of emotion. With paintings such as this one, Dunton has fully realized a transition from commissioned illustrator to fine artist.

    More information about WILLIAM HERBERT DUNTON, also known as Dunton, William Herbert, Dunton, W. Herbert, William Herbert Dunton.

    Condition Report*: Canvas has been lined and is in good condition.  UV examination reveals several very minute points of inpainting in the sky region, and one small pea-sized area along the central left edge of the canvas. Framed Dimensions 21 X 21 Inches
    *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
    November, 2012
    10th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,067

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