Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Up Close: Saul Tepper

This is part of an occasional series dealing with detail images of paintings featuring the brushwork of the artist. Previous posts can be found via the "Up close" topic label link on the sidebar.

The present post deals with Saul Tepper (1899-1987), a leading illustrator from the 1920s into the 1950s. Additional information on Tepper plus a number of his illustrations can be found here.

Featured here is a painting that clearly seems to be an illustration. But so far, the Kelly Collection people (see below) do not have the date it was painted, nor is it known if it was ever used in a publication.

The source of the detail images is explained below:

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The Kelly Collection has what is probably the outstanding holding of American illustration art by private individuals (not organizations). I was able to view part of it at The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California towards the end of a January 12 - March 31, 2013 exhibition run. The collection concentrates on illustration art created roughly 1890-1935 and one of its purposes is to further knowledge and appreciation of illustration from that era.

Non-flash photography was allowed, so I took a large number of high-resolution photos of segments of those original works. This was to reference the artists' techniques in a manner not always easy to obtain from printed reproductions. (However, the exhibition catalog does feature a few large-scale detail reproductions.)

I thought that readers of this blog might also be interested in seeing the brushwork of master illustrators up close to increase their understanding of how the artists worked and perhaps to serve as inspiration for their own painting if they too are artists.

Below is an image of the entire illustration coupled with my work. Click on the latter to enlarge.

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This image is from the Kelly Collection website.

I prefer other Teppers in the Kelly Collection (see here), but this and another one that I liked even less were what got exhibited. Still, the detail image shows Tepper's style from his heyday as an illustrator. Along with the likes of Mead Schaeffer, Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn and other illustrators treated in this series, Tepper painted his oils thickly (impasto) and used strong brushwork. He was also something of a colorist: note the touches of green on the girl's skin in shaped areas.

1 comment:

dearieme said...

I'm impressed that he could make her sad mainly by his representation of her left eye.