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Umberto Brunelleschi
The Princess Courtesan
Mixed Media on Paper
Number 8 entitled " La Princesse Constance" from a series of 12 from "The Courtesans", 1935, Paris. This is a one-of-a-kind costume drawing signed and titled by the artist in pencil, lower right. Pencil and tempera/gouache plus metallic gold and silver paints on heavy artist's paper. Studio notations re costume details/features au verso. Typical of Brunelleschi's panache with theater costume, this dramatic figure is wrapped in a flowing embroidered brocade cape lined with reflective silver. The harem look was a popular theme of the day, spilling over from the ballet/theatre productions of Scherezade. The gold halter, belt, veil and shoes are the extravagant accessories of a wealthy Arabian Princess; the turban, a popular art deco fashion statement for most of the 1920's. The pearls around her neck and adorning the turban are applied as thick, white gouache drops, giving a three dimensional effect. The sensual face and kohl-rimmed eyes complete the combination of romantic innocence and seductive allure - a Brunelleschi trademark. As this was a working drawing for a theatrical production, the heavy guage paper shows a few creases from on-site handling. However, this does not affect the actual image area as the image itself is clean with brilliant colour and strong, determined lines demonstrating the spontaneity of a great artist at his creative best. For further reference, as well as similar design, please see "Umberto Brunelleschi: Fashion Stylist, Illustrator, Stage and Costume Designer" by Franco Maria Ricci; p 55; Rizzoli, NY,1979 Overall size: H 19in X W 12.5in; H 48.25cm X W 31.75cm Image size: H Approx. 15.5in X W 8.5in; H 39.4cm X 21.6cm
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