“The Rough Road To Taos” by Ed Sandoval


Oil on canvas

Image: 40″ x 30″
Framed: 45.5″ x 35.5″

The painting was done totally on location above Valdez Valley. It was a favorite spot for Victor Higgins, in fact I found an old painting rag that could have been his. The painting expresses the beautiful distances of northern New Mexico, The Broken Wheel and the colors that are so true of our sacred land.

Ed Sandoval
Dec. 19, 1998

The Story Behind The Painting
“The Rough Road to Taos”

by Rebekah Powers, March 2023

Ed Sandoval is one of Taos’ favorite painters, a beloved character and gentle spirit. It is only fitting that he would be the right artist to paint an interpretation of the scene of the broken wagon wheel that changed the history of art. The result: a dynamic painting titled “The Rough Road to Taos”. The story goes:

In the autumn of 1898, Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips from the east coast left Denver in their wagon on a sketching trip headed to Mexico via Santa Fe on the “old” road. On a deserted stretch of the Sangre de Cristo mountains near what would later become the D. H. Laurence Ranch just north of Taos, their surrey wagon slipped into a deep rut and the wheel broke, effectively stranding the 2 artists in this majestic location with incredible light, an endless horizon and captivating skies. When their explorations led them to the discovery of picturesque Taos Pueblo and its people, the great river and wild piñon forests, plus – they realized that this place was everything they had been hoping to find. Soon, they would summon other painters who eventually became the Taos Society of Artists.

As a “painter of place” Sandoval records this pivotal moment in his painting “The Rough Road to Taos” finished in 1998 with his characteristic flair, generous brushwork and dramatic composition. In a handwritten note that accompanies the work, Sandoval asserts that the entire work is painted on location above the Valdez Valley to paint the scene, as other artists before him have done. In the note, the artist says of this work:

“The painting expresses the beautiful distance of Northern New Mexico, the broken wheel and the colors that are so true of our sacred land.”

This painting reflects the pivotal moment in history that put Taos on the map as an art colony and creative enclave drawing writers, photographers and artists from around the world. Experience that moment, captured in the lively style of Ed Sandoval.

1 in stock


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