Ancient Romans in USA

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F. Luis Mora (1874-1940)

Ancient Romans in America, circa 1920

gouache on Winsor & Newton board

board size 22 1/2 x 28 inches

image size (with artist-painted border)  16 x 25 inches

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 billowing smoke. 

Mora uses a pastel palette, with  shots of color from the flag and the pink toga.

 

 

 

 

 

Stamps on back of board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

email:  baron@baronart.com   phone:  860-663-0222