One of the Santa Fe Art Auction’s most highly anticipated arrivals of the summer, Leon Gaspard’s The Musicians, will complement an already impressive roster of Western and Southwestern paintings. The expansive pastel, a masterwork by the Russian-born, Taos-based artist, arrived to SFAA’s Paseo de Peralta gallery amid the festivities of Independence Day in Santa Fe. As is so often the case with paintings of this caliber, The Musicians far surpassed SFAA’s expectations when at long last it arrived on site.
An air of celebration similarly pervades The Musicians. In a rural village square, townspeople assemble around a cello player who, with bow upraised, creates the impression of music wafting through the crisp winter air. He is flanked on one side by a group of listeners and, just right of center, by a violinist, whose posture indicates a close accompaniment. Other instrument-toting musicians enter or exit the scene, while the intersecting cornices of vernacular architecture frame the impromptu, early-evening concert. The town’s onion-domed church presides over candle-lit homes connected by narrow passageways, amid the soft glow of a setting winter sun.
The Musicians, presented as a triptych, is remarkable for its ambitious scale, technical mastery, and engaging content. True to fashion, Gaspard transports viewers to a specific moment in time – here, an otherwise quotidian performance elevated to fine art. With the November 12th auction just around the corner, SFAA is privileged to offer such an exceptional painting. Alongside masterworks of classic and contemporary Western art, The Musicians, both for its quality and broad-based appeal, is sure to prove a highlight.
Complementing The Musicians are two additional paintings by Leon Gaspard – a diminutive, if uncommon, depiction of a Pueblo fiesta, and a portrait of a brilliantly attired Russian girl—purportedly the artist’s wife—set against a backdrop of sketchily rendered civic and ecclesiastical buildings. Together, this trio reflects the richness of Gaspard’s oeuvre and, indeed, the diversity of the arts of New Mexico. As such, it is sure to appeal to even the most discriminating collector.
Above: Leon Gaspard (1882-1964), The Musicians, pastel, 21 x 46 inches ($150,000-$250,000)
* Consignments are invited for the 23rd Annual Santa Fe Art Auction through September 15th. For additional information, contact Adam H. Veil, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jenna Kloeppel, Auction Coordinator (email@example.com).