Wednesday, May 22, 2013
DRACULA BY GEORGE BUSH
It may come as a surprise, but our ex-President of These Here United States that sometimes goes by the name of George Dubya, is something of an accomplished painter. So much of a secret that, when asked at the inauguration of his George W. Bush Library a few weeks ago why so many many people didn't know he was a painter, he replied in true Texas humor: "Well, a lot of people didn't think I could read, either".
It is actually another Bush I speak of -- George A. Bush, to be exact, and judging from the work shown here, he is himself quite a painter. His depiction of Bela Lugosi as Dracula in shades of midnight blue is no paint-by-number, pardner.
Up for a minimum bid of $974 on a 2003 MastroNet auction, it failed to sell. By all accounts it flew back into the night on bat's wings.
Here is the description:
This is the second George A. Bush portrait painting of a classic Universal horror film star that we have been able to offer through our Americana auctions. The first was of Boris Karloff in his Ardath Bay makeup, worn in production of The Mummy. Our second is offered in this auction. It is a haunting portrait of Lugosi in his most famous role of stage and film, Count Dracula. Bush has executed the entire work in an incredibly subtle spectrum of different shades of blue, perfectly capturing the Count in his nighttime environment. Rising almost invisibly in the background is an outlined castle against a suggested light source of a fully cloud covered, almost invisible moon. The portrait is riveting, with pinpoints of light reflecting in the Count's eyes, and the slightest speck of blood appearing at the corner of his bottom lip. Obviously, Dracula has feasted already! The 14-3/4" x 19-3/4" original gouache painting on hard board is flawlessly preserved. Date and publication are unknown, and it is signed "Bush" in the lower right.