Because it’s Friday, here’s a new quick n’ easy regular feature, showing off an interesting image that has crossed my path in the last seven days. Tuesy really enjoyed the new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which she watched in preparation for a visit to Matthew Bourne’s production in Cardiff tonight, though I’m not there to join her for either show, alas. We were both reminded of Ivan Albright‘s painting of Dorian Gray that was used in the 1945 film adaptation. We saw it at the Chicago Institute of Art last year, and it’s really a standout, not least for its garish grotesquerie. It certainly looks pretty striking even here on my little blog.
It was interesting to see in a gallery a painting that had been designed to have a particular impact onscreen; the black and white movie switches to three-strip Technicolor just for two shots of the painting, first in its original form, then in Albright’s aged and corrupted version. The painting is round a corner in one of the galleries, so you can’t see it from other rooms – it’s a real jolt to the eyes when it appears in front of you. Above is the photo I took of it in Chicago, hopefully preserving most of the colour. The blistering effect reminds me of the way film decays.
Albright’s twin brother was originally asked to paint the earlier picture of Dorian, but in the end Henrique Medina came up with this:
John Coulthart has more about these paintings, including a picture of the Albright twins preparing their portrait from a dummy of the decayed Dorian at his blog. Well worth a look.