Peter Moran. “Harvest
At San Juan,” 1883. Line etching on thin laid japan
paper. Image: 6 x 12 3/8” at plate mark with full margins.
Sheet size: 10 x 15 5/8". Signed in pencil in l. r. margin:
PMoran. Artist’s monogram "PM" in plate, l. r.
corner. Published in Original Etchings by American Artists
(Cassell and Company, 1883). Superb condition, uncommon on thin
One of Peter Moran’s most
eloquent New Mexico prints, this piece depicts the traditional
Native American threshing technique in which horses were utilized.
An Englishman by birth, Moran was the first non-native American to
portray aspects of the life of Pueblo Indians.
The younger brother of Thomas
Moran, Peter Moran was a painter-etcher best known for his Romantic
sensibility and landscape compositions incorporating animals. The
Moran family immigrated to the United States in 1844, when Peter was
three. He began his artistic career as an apprentice to a
lithographic firm and eventually studied painting with his brothers
Edward and Thomas. He was influenced by the animal paintings of Rosa
Bonheur and Constant Troyon and visited England in 1863 to see those
of Edwin Landseer.
Moran took up etching in 1874,
using that medium to record genre scenes that he observed while
traveling in New Mexico and Arizona in 1881 on an ethnographic
expedition to study Pueblo Indian culture. The print offered here
likely results from that expedition. He returned to the Southwest in
1890 as an artist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
This is a superb example of
Moran’s record of a vanishing way of life and rare in this
edition, signed and on thin laid japan paper.