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Galerie Sommerlath

"Seasons Greetings #1" Drawing by French Painter Marcel Vertes

"Seasons Greetings #1" Drawing by French Painter Marcel Vertes

Regular price $650.00 USD
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Season's Greetings 1 is a greeting card featuring an original drawing by the illustrator and artist Marcel Vertès. Vertès defies the usual holiday expectations with his whimsical interpretation of the Christmas card tradition. The artwork showcases Vertès' signature positioned at the lower right corner, while also being presented in an unfolded manner, evident from the presence of two vertical lines. The work is based on wax crayons, and ink for the delicate black outlines and composition of the primary character and secondary figures.

In this piece, Vertes playfully disrupts traditional winter motifs leading up to Christmas. Against a backdrop of sun-soaked palm trees and intense heat by the sea, a young woman transports an uprooted fir tree. She wiped the sweat off her forehead while looking up at the scorching sun. One wonders about this evergreen in the tropics, devoid of crackling fireplaces, alpine lodges, and glistening snow. Her marine outfit suggests she might have ended up on a desert island after a shipwreck. To survive her loneliness, she plans on celebrating the holiday with a Christmas tree within her makeshift housing.

Marcel Vertès, originally known as Marcell Vértes, was born on August 10, 1895, in Budapest, Hungary.
After the war, Vertès ventured from Hungary to Vienna, Austria, and eventually settled in Paris, where he enrolled as a student at the renowned Academy Julian. Immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of the Latin Quarter, he became an integral part of the Parisian art scene, and his artistic style evolved to become more light and lyrical. He focused on various mediums, including illustration, painting, and lithography, with his first solo exhibition in New York taking place two years after his initial visit in 1935.

With the onset of World War II, Vertès fled the Nazi invasion of Paris and returned to New York with his wife, subsequently dividing his time between the two cities. After a decade, he returned to his cherished Paris, where he spent the remainder of his life.

During his time in the United States, Vertès became a consultant to the Producers and Set Designers of the acclaimed 1952 film "Moulin Rouge," centred around the life of artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec. His expertise in forgery, which he had utilised earlier to earn money for his education, played a role in the film, where his hand was featured as Toulouse-Lautrec's, and his images were used with proper credit. Vertès also made significant contributions to the film's British production credits, particularly as the Colour Production Designer and Costume Designer, leading to a shared British Academy Film award for Best Costume Design.

Additionally, Vertès left his mark on the artistic landscape by creating original murals in the Café Carlyle at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, as well as in the Peacock Alley of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, also located in New York. In 1956, he designed sets for the entire Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus show. His talent extended beyond visual arts, as he served as an illustration contributor for renowned publications like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. In 1961, he was part of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival and was honoured as an officer of the Legion of Honour in 1955 for his work in designing ballets at the Paris Opera.

On October 31, 1961, at the age of 66, Marcel Vertès passed away in Paris, leaving behind a rich legacy of artistic achievements and a profound impact on the art world.

PERIOD: Mid-20th Century
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 16.88" Width: 30.75" Depth: 0.38"
MATERIAL: Wax Crayon, Ink
CREATOR: Marcel Vertès

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