Essay Writer

[POWELL, Michael] GIBBON, Monk

The Tales Of Hoffmann

London: Saturn Press, 1951

4to, pp. 96. Original blue boards, lettered in gilt on spine. Cockerel device in gilt to front panel. Spine worn and faded, binding a little shaken. No dustwrapper.

First edition, INSCRIBED BY MICHAEL POWELL, THE FILM'S DIRECTOR AND THE BOOK'S DEDICATEE, TO THE PAINTER PIETRO ANNIGONI: 'Annigoni from Michael Powell. London, November 1959. Hommages!'. This lavishly illustrated book was produced to accompany the 1951 release of Powell and Pressburger's film adaptation of Offenbach's opera.

Annigoni's international standing as a portrait painter grew steadily through the 1950s. His style, heavily influenced by the Renaissance, stood in stark contrast to the prevailing modernism of his day, and saw him commissioned to produce portraits of royalty and leading public figures who wanted to see themselves immortalised in a sober, strictly representative style they could understand. He first painted the young Queen Elizabeth II in 1956; commissions from popes, princes and politicians followed. He also painted the dancers Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Valentino, a part of his portfolio more likely to have attracted Michael Powell's attention. An Italian documentary about Annigoni, directed by Egidio Campori, was made in 1959, the year this book was inscribed -- the closest alignment of these two artists our researches have been able to find.

Keywords: Monk GIBBON Michael POWELL"


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