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Lot 80: Figure for Sun: Study for The Legend of Earth and Sun Mural
California, Western and American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture
October 24, 2007
Beverly Hills, CA, USA
Maynard Dixon (1875-1946)
Figure for Sun: Study for The Legend of Earth and Sun Mural
signed with initials and dated 'MD/Dec 1928' (lower right)
pastel, charcoal and pencil on paper laid down on board
36 x 21½ in. (91.4 x 54.6 cm.)
The Legend of Earth and Sun mural was commissioned by Arthur Chase McArthur, architect of the Arizona Biltmore hotel and student of Frank Lloyd Wright. In late 1928 McArthur asked Maynard Dixon to submit designs for a mural to be installed in the hotel's dining room. Dixon worked on the preliminary drawings on his way to Phoenix, completing the studies in his hotel room, which were approved by McArthur upon his arrival. For the composition, Dixon drew from his extensive knowledge of Hopi mythology, creating two heroic figures that dominate the mural. One is Mother Earth, who wears the head tablet of a Hopi corn maiden; the other is Father Sun, which the present study represents, adapted from a Hopi Sun Katchina, representing light and warmth. Measuring 8x25 feet, Dixon considered The Legend of Earth and Sun to be one of his most successful murals.
This drawing will be included in Donald J. Hagerty's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's works.
Edith Hamlin, wife of the artist.
Estate of Joseph K. Kane, Sausalito, California.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
Artist or Maker: Maynard Dixon (1875-1946)