Maynard Dixon, born Henry St. John Dixon, was an American landscape painter famous for his portraits of the desolate deserts of the American southwest. Born on January 24, 1875, in Fresno, California, Maynard Dixon had a mother who encouraged his drawing as a child. Dixon never had a formal art education, though he did have a few private tutors. He supported himself as an illustrator for a few San Francisco newspapers until his fame grew.
Upon the suggestion of his mentor, Charles Lummis, he traveled east to see the American West and discovered his passion for painting landscapes of Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. His early work consisted of bold colors which gradually transitioned into Post-Impressionism and Cubism. Toward the end of his life, he began to use paint sparingly and with a subdued color scheme, showing his talent with his balancing of light and shadows. Most of his landscapes were of a desolate and untouched scene though he did enjoy painting the inhabitants as well, especially the Native Americans, Hispanics and Anglo. He eventually settled in Tucson, Arizona, after his third marriage, where he passed away in November 11, 1946.