F. Luis Mora (1874-1940)
Ancient Romans in America,
gouache on Winsor &
board size 22 1/2 x 28 inches
image size (with artist-painted border) 16 x
signed lower right, estate stamp verso
New gilded wood frame with beading. Double
matted in archival, acid-free mats.
Condition: Painting is 100% original.
Old splash of liquid, extreme lower left corner. Outside margin:
toning and environmental staining of board, three chipped corners.
We date this playful, anachronistic painting 1920. It is newly discovered by the artist's estate.
After World War I, Mora produced a number of
fanciful scenes for his illustration commissions. Well known is his last
major mural work, Manhattan Cocktail, 1938, a mural series
commissioned by New York's Town Club and Bar.
Possibly a precursor to Manhattan Cocktail,
Ancient Romans in America pushes further with anachronistic humor.
With modern American flags flying from their mast, ancient Romans are
sailing along a 20th century skyline. The Roman men wear togas.
One carries a Lyre and a gear, the other works the rudder and lights the
way with a torch. A 17th Century settler gazes at the view. A
Native-American sits wearily, and an ancient Scribe takes notes with a
quill. The city is teaming with prosperity and industry, shown by the buildings and the
Mora uses a pastel palette, with shots of
color from the flag and the pink toga.
Stamps on back of board.