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Everyone knows that the frightfully spectacular Ivan Albright painting of Dorian Gray is permanently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. What about the beautifully exquisite Henrique Medina version?  BEATS ME!!!  BUT it was briefly on display from March 11 to March 20, 2015 at Christie's in the Rockefeller Center in NYC...and sold for a whopping $149,000!!!!  

 

 

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During that time period, I took the opportunity to see it live.  I was so close to the picture that I could fully marvel at all of the soft paint strokes. Plus, it's a real treat seeing all of the details that were essentially missing when watching the 1945 Picture of Dorian Gray movie. 

 

I took many photos of the painting itself and also video recorded it. Here's my vid of the painting: 

 


 

If you just want to see the photos (all HD), go here: 

 


 

 

Enjoy!!! 

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Wow THANKS Emily for sharing that! You are correct-I've always wondered what happened to that painting. I had known Hurd Hatfield once owned it, but what about after he died? Interesting history.

 

Lucky that you were on top of things and saw it in person.

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oops double post...I'll take this opportunity:

 

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Look at the size of it! That frame alone is worth $10,000. It looks in pretty good condition but definitely needs to be restretched and most likely cleaned a bit.

 

I find the hands extraordinary. And the "basil hallwood" signature is so prominent. Fantastic!

 

Cute picture Emily-so glad you had someone take that pic with you for perpective!

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Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the photos. The Dorian Gray painting meant a lot to me. I researched on the whereabouts of it for a couple of months only to find info on where it used to be. When I found out about where the picture would be auctioned at back in March of this year (it was through Pinterest lol), I knew I had to see it in real-life for myself; it was a once in a life time opportunity. I don't know exactly why I feel so strongly over this painting. I guess it's just simply a really pretty picture that captured (or accentuated) the beauty of Hurd Hatfield.

 

Where it went after Hurd's death is still a mystery to me. I heard it ended up on ebay afterwards and only sold for about $15,000 at the time, but I don't know if that's true. All I know is that the last owner of the painting was Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, who was an acclaimed Art Collector for Asian artifacts and was also a relative to Hurd Hatfield.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray film will be on TCM tonight at 8:00 pm EST :D :D :D

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Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the photos. The Dorian Gray painting meant a lot to me.

 

Apparently I'm the only one on this board who appreciates your efforts. I forwarded your link to several friends I knew would get a kick out of it.

 

The painting means a lot to me too.

It's an important movie prop as well as an extraordinary painting from the golden age of Hollywood. While I try seeing every Hollywood costume exhibit, this painting stands alone for it's role in the movie: the signature, the cat, Hurd's incredible face.

After all, the movie is named for the painting!

 

 All I know is that the last owner of the painting was Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, who was an acclaimed Art Collector for Asian artifacts and was also a relative to Hurd Hatfield.

 

It makes sense he was the one who bought it for Hurd and received it back after his death. You'd be amazed how often people discard historical artifacts because of their size or cost of upkeep. An art collector already knows this and prepares for it. 

 

Again, thank you for your diligence tracking it down & taking the time to post your photos & share your blog about it. 

You rock!

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The first time I saw this movie was in a small black and white set, which means that the shock effect of Albright's painting in color was totally lost, much to my regret.

Has anybody here seen it in person? I understand that seeing it up close is a startling experience.

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Palmerin--I assume you're talking about seeing the film on a color television set, not the painting in person--About seeing the film on a color set--yes, the shock Is there, although somewhat spoiled by having another character see the painting & react for us, instead of showing the audience 1st and Then the character.

 

TikiSoo--you're Not the only one who appreciates rtemilynguyen's art  appreciation & detective work--am posting an overdue "thank you"

 

rtemilynguyen--thank you for your work & please keep posting. :)

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PALMERIN:  I have seen the Albright painting at the Art Institute in Chicago and it is quite impressive as are all the other Albright paintings there.  Do check out the Art Institute if you ever travel to Chicago.  EMILY:  Thank you for sharing your pix; it is much appreciated.

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S***!

 

Either that picture is HUGE or you are only 2 feet tall.

 

either way, thanks for the extra info on it. I went to imdb to look up the film and was surprised to see that according to the trivia section, the painting was expecting to raise something like $8,000 at auction last year and it fetched (something like) $149,000!!!!!!

 

Dang!

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...and I STILL say the picture gives a far better performance than Hatfield...but that's a topic for the "Sally Fields: what a doll!" thread, I 'spose.

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...the canvas also looks a little warped in the upper right hand corner...hope the new owner has it someplace airtight where the elements won't damage it.

 

(I am continually stunned how many museums of the world do not have air conditioning!)

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Thanks for the appreciation everyone!  With full honesty, I didn't think this picture would be sold at such a high price because of some of the spotted damages and the worned condition of the canvas (and yes I was pretty frustrated when I saw the fold on the corner).  But lo and behold, there are people out there who understand the significance of this painting, meaning I guess this movie along with Hurd Hatfield isn't completely swapped over by Ben Barnes' 2009 Dorian Gray (Ben did a great job as Dorian, but the movie was completely horrendous!).  Plus, it's still a very nice painting, especially seeing it in real life.  And I must say, and I'll still say it...the painting made Hurd look better than he really looked haha!

 

And as for Hurd Hatfield's portrayal of Dorian Gray...it's Albert Lewin's fault lol.  Hurd is actually WAY BETTER in everything else he's in ;)  Just to name a few titles, watch him in "King of Kings," "The Left Handed Gun," any of his episodes on "Alfred Hitchcock," "Murder, She Wrote," "The Wild Wild West," or any other thing that isn't Dorian Gray.

 

 

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(I am continually stunned how many museums of the world do not have air conditioning!)

 

Lorna, museums should not have air conditioning as it artificially dries out antiquities, needing humidifiers to counterbalance it.

 

When I was curator of a museum, it was IMPERATIVE we allowed the artifacts to "breathe" right along with changes in the atmosphere. We used very unobtrusive low level fans to keep the air moving, never near the displays, but for the people visiting.

It was amazing at night to hear all the pieces "crack" as the wood contracted. Night at the Museum, indeed.

 

Now my workshop is in my home. When watching a movie with me, friends will often jump when pieces "pop" in the next room. It sounds like a car backfiring, but I'm used to it.

 

All that's wrong with the very large Dorian Gray painting is the weight of the canvas has sagged in the upper corner. This is actually an easy fix for a qualified restorationist. But it would also benefit from cleaning, moisturizing and minimal touch up to conserve what's there before it further deteriorates. I do this all day long.

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Lorna, museums should not have air conditioning as it artificially dries out antiquities, needing humidifiers to counterbalance it.

When I was curator of a museum, it was IMPERATIVE we allowed the artifacts to "breathe" right along with changes in the atmosphere. We used very unobtrusive low level fans to keep the air moving, never near the displays, but for the people visiting.

It was amazing at night to hear all the pieces "crack" as the wood contracted. Night at the Museum, indeed.

All that's wrong with the very large Dorian Gray painting is the weight of the canvas has sagged in the upper corner. This is actually an easy fix for a qualified restorationist. But it would also benefit from cleaning, moisturizing and minimal touch up to conserve what's there

 

see? this is why I love these boards, i am constantly learning all sorts of new things- and not just about film.

thank you, very much for the illumination.

 

ps- I think I may start calling you "Tikipedia."

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It's possible the canvas was warped because they shoved the painting under a ceiling too short for the frame. It is pinned between the ceiling and the floor which puts stress on corners. Dorian is an inch too tall.

 

 btw I can't see why they never had this painting alongside the other in the museum to compare them. That is kind of what the movie shows and is an important part of the story.

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is it wrong that what most impresses me about the picture is the shading, depth, and draping of Hatfield/Dorian's pants?

That's some excellent technique.

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To me, what's impressive is the inference of life the picture gives--the look of a happy Edwardian (did I name the right era?)gentleman--the smile (in the film Hatfield is thin-lipped to the point of having no lips), the tailoring of the clothes is impressive, whereas late in the film his clothes hung on him, the skin tone, remarked upon by many, the simple feeling of life the portrait gives--the hair in the portrait looks more alive than Hatfields' hair late in the film.  Director Lewin was known for being obsessive about details--someone posted earlier about the portrait looking like it had sucked the life out of Hatfield--that's exactly how it looks to me.

 

Edit-- I just watched the video of the portrait again--even the flower and his fingernails look alive--majorly creepy--now if only the film had been able to deliver that creepiness all the way through.

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To me, what's impressive is the inference of life the picture gives--the look of a happy Edwardian (did I name the right era?)gentleman--the smile (in the film Hatfield is thin-lipped to the point of having no lips), the tailoring of the clothes is impressive, whereas late in the film his clothes hung on him, the skin tone, remarked upon by many, the simple feeling of life the portrait gives--the hair in the portrait looks more alive than Hatfields' hair late in the film. Director Lewin was known for being obsessive about details--someone posted earlier about the portrait looking like it had sucked the life out of Hatfield--that's exactly how it looks to me.

 

Edit-- I just watched the video of the portrait again--even the flower and his fingernails look alive--majorly creepy--now if only the film had been able to deliver that creepiness all the way through.

Very nice.

(posting from my mobile I cannot click the "I like" button)

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