Auction 2019

Lot 211

Session 2 - April 6th, at 1pm.

Gerard Curtis Delano
1890-1972
The Council
Oil on canvas
26 x 48 inches
FRAMED/BASE: 36 x 57
ESTIMATE: $ 300,000 - $ 500,000
Signed lower right
Signed and titled verso
Available For: $308,000

Additional Details

We’re in the audience in The Council, just behind the first ring, sitting at the foot of the natural podium where a chief holds the floor. Their attention, and ours, is rapt. Even the young brave right in front of us, looking to his right, is listening and thinking. Some of the chiefs stand. In this they echo the teepees at left that also seem to be ranked to lean in and pay attention. Delano’s composition is strictly triangular; the orator stands only slightly right of center. Because he limits his palette, our eyes bounce from strong red to strong red, from blue to blue, and skip from the black of feathers to black heads of hair. Delano unites the composition just as the speaker unites his hearers. Whatever the subject: war, migration, or some other stress on the people, Delano’s painting suggests persuasive unanimity. Gerard Curtis Delano filled the loneliness of his childhood with fishing, hiking, and drawing. No one in his family or at school thought much of his interest in art, but Delano persisted, making his way through art schools in New Bedford and New York, where he embarked on a career in commercial art. The American West fascinated Delano and some of his earliest drawings had been of Indians. He visited the West in the 1920’s, found a measure of success, then returned to the East Coast to study with N. C. Wyeth and Harvey Dunn before heading west for good. Settling in Colorado, he made his fame painting Native Americans–the Navajo in particular–and the history of the Old West. Softly lit masses and a warm palette animate Delano’s paintings.

Condition Report

Scattered inpainting in sky and upper right touch up around feather of seated indian on right.
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