Private collection, California
Edgar Payne was right at home within the red-rock walls of Canyon de Chelly in Northern Arizona. Not only did he paint the canyon from every conceivable ground-level angle, he seemingly had examples of the light from every minute of daylight, from sunrise to sundown. Color and form are certainly themes within these works, but scale is also key.
“[Canyon de Chelly]…is immense in its rendition of nature’s architectonic grandeur,” writes Peter Hassrick in Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey. “The canyon, the historical stronghold of the Navajo people, is presented as a colossal fortress on the one hand and as a glowing spiritual sanctuary on the other. The Navajo people, dwarfed on the canyon floor by the overarching monoliths of red sandstone, add both scale and quietude to the scene. The…blue sky suggests that there is in this domain only limited accommodation for a celestial presence.”
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Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.
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