229 Blue Vault of Night

Winning Bid Undisclosed
This item SOLD at 2015 Apr 11 @ 14:59UTC-7 : PDT/MST
Category Western Americana
Auction Currency USD
Start Price NA
Estimated at 100,000.00 - 150,000.00 USD
Blue Vault of Night
Artist: Johnson, Frank TenneyDate of Birth: 1874-1939
Medium: Oil on board
Dimensions: 18 x 14 inches
Signed: Signed lower left

The brightness of the moonlight turns casts a hazy azure light over the canyon, rider, and mount in Blue Vault of Night. This, the Western nocturne, is Frank Tenney Johnson territory. Just this, this kind of light, is what Johnson longed and labored to capture as he rode night herd as a young man. Even in what appears to be a straightforward portrait of a Native AmericanÑNavajo, perhapsÑwho has just emerged from the shadows of a craggy, narrow canyon, JohnsonÕs formal mastery shines through. Shadows at left become lit areas at right. Darkness in the background gives way to a moon-bathed foreground. The cubist regularity in the rocks is offset by the creamier, thick strokes of paint that delineate areas illuminated by the moon. Johnson creates tension in the scene as the rider peers into shadow while the horse prefers the certainty of light.