Hardesty Gilmore Maratta

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SOLD Hardesty Maratta watercolor.jpg
2_Hardesty Maratta Watercolor Pioneer Wagons.JPG
3_Hardesty Maratta Watercolor Pioneer Wagons.JPG
4_Hardesty Maratta Watercolor Pioneer Wagons.JPG
5_Hardesty Maratta Watercolor Pioneer Wagons.jpg

Hardesty Gilmore Maratta

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Pioneer Wagons Crossing the American Southwest, c.1900 

- Watercolor on heavy artist’s board
- Sight: 14.75” high x 20.25” wide
- Frame: 23” high x 28.5” wide 
- Signature: Lower right

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PRICE: SOLD INQUIRE

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About the work

A circa 1900 watercolor by Hardesty Gilmore Maratta, likely painted at a time when the artist was commissioned by Juan Lorenzo Hubbell to copy Navajo rugs at the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona. The watercolor depicts pioneer wagons crossing a dusty southwest desert trail. Few landscape paintings from Maratta’s travels in Arizona and New Mexico are known to exist. 

Our work bears a particularly strong similarity to the style and subject of Maratta’s contemporary and fellow student at the Art Institute of Chicago, George Elbert Burr. 

Housed in a period MacKenzie & Company oak frame under the original glass. Colors are slightly muted due to mild age-related toning, otherwise exceptionally fine, original condition. 

About the artist…

Hardesty G. Maratta was active/lived in Arizona, New Mexico, and California. He is best known for landscape painting and recording Native American rug designs in watercolor and oil. Maratta also devised a color theory that associated particular colors with specific music notes and instructed painters to organize their palettes based on harmonious chords. One of the better known artists to experiment with Maratta’s color theory was John Sloan, a pioneering figure in the Social Realist movement.  

Born in Chicago in 1864, Maratta was a well-known watercolorist and designer of pottery for the Gates Teco Pottery Company of Terra Cotta, Illinois. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago where he exhibited from 1888 to 1906.

Maratta’s travels in the American southwest led him to the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona, where he was commissioned by owner Juan Lorenzo Hubbell to copy classic Navajo rug designs in watercolor and oil. These Hubbell rug designs hung on the trading post walls to encourage rug weavers to duplicate the designs of that period. Hubbell’s interest was to perpetuate old Navajo patterns and colors that were disappearing. Most of the rug study paintings were completed between 1897 and 1909. 

Maratta's works are in the Santa Fe Railroad Collection; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Fogg Museum; Harvard University; and Hubbell Trading Post Museum, Ganado, Arizona. He died in October 1924.

Sources used: Doris Dawdy, Artists of the American West, Vol. II; Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940; Martha Blue, Indian Trader, The Life and Times of J.L. Hubbell; Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. 

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