One more vintage treasure that has hidden in our archives for decades.
A marvelous painting in gouache – opaque watercolor – by this noted, self-taught artist, whose career ended too early.
His favorite equine subject is here expanded to include a rider and landscape, as well.
Apaches have historically been known as horse-lovers (and superb riders), and Vigil lavished wonderful detail and realism on his paintings of horseflesh.
Notice the delicacy of the mane and tail, the strong muscular chest, and natural proportions.
The rider is also shown in a realistic position, sitting and watching from a bluff over the river. The pale rosy tones in the sky suggest dawn or approaching dusk.
Clouds in a horizontal pattern add to the overall mood of tranquility, but there is a sense of tension and anticipation in the sharper diagonals of the horse’s position, the vibrant red lance, and the feathers and fringe which bedeck the rider.
A fine portrayal of the calm before the storm ( or battle), by a foremost painter of horses whose work is still much admired and collected.