Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Molti Ritratti: Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson (1899-1983) was a legendary movie star whose career was at its height during the 1920s and early 30s. An extensive biographical link is here.

Today's Molti Ritratti is another switcheroo in that rather than featuring formal commissioned oil portraits, the images below are cover illustrations for movie fan magazines.

Nowadays fan magazines use photography for cover art. But into the 1930s their covers normally featured illustrations, and those illustration were often done in pastels rather than oil paint, watercolor, gouache and other commonly used illustration media.

Hollywood cranked out a lot of pictures each year, therefore keeping the stars very busy. So I don't know if cover illustrators were able to view their subjects in person or else relied mostly on photos furnished by the studio publicity staffs. I suspect the latter.

In any case, for your viewing enjoyment, below are covers featuring Miss Swanson.


Publicity photo for "The Trespasser" - 1929
Swanson was about 30 year old when this was taken, and it strikes me as a suitable image for comparison with the magazine covers below.

Motion Picture - November 1923
By Hal Phyfe.

Motion Picture - November 1926
The cover artist is Marland Stone.

Photoplay - September 1928
By Charles Sheldon.

Screen Book - December 1929
The artist's signature reads as John Clarke, best I can tell.

New Movie Magazine - September 1930
I cannot see an artist signature.

Motion Picture - February 1931
Another cover by Marland Stone.

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