Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956) Hunters in the Canyon 30 x 36in framed 35 1/2 x 41 1/2in

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 116
Ernest Martin Hennings
(1886-1956)
Hunters in the Canyon 30 x 36in framed 35 1/2 x 41 1/2in

Sold for US$ 425,075 inc. premium
Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956)
Hunters in the Canyon
signed 'E. Martin Hennings' (lower left), titled (on the backing)
oil on canvas
30 x 36in
framed 35 1/2 x 41 1/2in

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The artist.
    Private collection, Taos, New Mexico, from the above, circa 1930s.
    Private collection, Dallas, Texas, by family descent.

    The paintings of E. Martin Hennings are glowing tapestries that celebrate the pageantry and beauty of the people in landscape of Northern New Mexico. In them the land itself – the canyons, mountains, streams, and forests – suggests the color and romance of a Renaissance weaving. Against this richly-hued background, the Indian people of the Taos Pueblo, the Spanish-American people of the neighboring mountain villages, and the Anglos living and working in New Mexico are the protagonists of a historic tableau. 1

    Hennings looked upon the rivers, forests and high desert of Taos and the people of the Pueblo and villages as an endless source of artistic inspiration, a treasure of visual pleasures. He wrote: "Landscape plays so important a part of my work, and subjects of sage, mountain and sky. Nothing thrills me more when in the fall, the aspen and cottonwoods are in color and with the sunlight playing against them – all the poetry and drama, all the moves and changes of nature are there to inspire one to greater accomplishment from year to year." 2

    Although Hennings was successful in landscape, genre and portrait painting, he felt his strength lay in figure painting: "In figure subjects I believe I find my greatest inspiration - Subjects which I have grown to know from experience and which the imagination brings forth." He painted the men, women, and children of all three cultures of New Mexico, but the Indians of the Taos Pueblo were the heroic figures of his finest paintings. Not a naturalist, anthropologist, or ethnologist, he did not try to record for posterity the religious ceremonies or the daily rituals of the Indians of the Pueblo but painted life in northern New Mexico as a visual spectacle and the Indian people as figures of beauty, serenity and majesty. Although he was attracted by their colorful ceremonies and costumes, he did not look upon them as exotic or purely decorative figures. He portrayed them as introspective, dignified individuals, regal in demeanor and bearing, with a suggestion of stoicism and sadness as they faced an uncertain future. He often chose as his subject, groups of blanketed Indians passing through the woods on horseback. These lines of riders suggest the eternal procession of life in New Mexico - a procession in which the Taos Indians have participated for centuries. 3

    Hennings' most successful canvases are those in which he interwove the threads of landscape and figure forms. His special talent lay in his ability to integrate human figures and natural forms into a single aesthetic creation. 4

    Hunters in the Canyon is a classic example of Henning's interpretation of the Indians of Taos and their way of life. The possession of hunters quietly walks their horses through a grove of aspens, not sure what their day will bring. There is a silence to the scene, as the artist conveys his reverence for the hunters and their poise and pride. The composition is indeed, as described by Patricia Janis Broder, a glowing tapestry.

    1 P.J. Broder, Taos: A Painter's Dream, New York, 1980, p. 253.
    2 Ibid.
    3 Ibid.
    4 Ibid, p. 256.
Contacts
Ernest Martin Hennings (1886-1956) Hunters in the Canyon 30 x 36in framed 35 1/2 x 41 1/2in
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $25,000 of the hammer price;
26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $25,000 up to and including $1,000,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $1,000,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

If you have requested a shipping quote, we will send this to you via email within 5 business days of the auction ending.

Please note our shipping quotes are bespoke and require special care and handling from our team and shippers. Shipping will be booked after payment is received. Please allow 7-14 business days from the time of booking for packing and dispatch, depending on your chosen shipping method. If your purchase is time sensitive, or you wish to explore other options, please see our list of alternative third party shippers in New York and Los Angeles who may be able to assist you.

If you have any questions, please contact our Client Services team.

App