Randolph Hearst commissioned this fine original oil on illustration board from Henry Clive for the cover of the American Weekly Magazine as part of Clive’s Pin Up Girls of History series, which reinvisioned contemporary starlet beauties as notorious vixens from throughout the past. In this example, the lovely 20th Century Fox film star Gene Tierney C. 1946 is shown posed as the notorious and bawdy Irish 19th century cabaret dancer Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld who reinvented herself and her history under the stage name Lola Montez. Posed by Tierney at the height of her career, shortly after appearing in “Leave Her to Heaven” and just before “The Razor’s Edge,” this original artwork accentuates her beauty and her ability to embody a character, as Tierney plays up the coquettish spirit for which the “Spanish Dancer” was known. This was purchased by the previous owner in 1971 in Lake Tahoe and is believed to be from the estate of Frank Sinatra.
Pin-Up Girls of History was one of a series of serialized cover assignments Clive completed for the American Weekly, along with Enchantresses of The Ages, Visions of the Artist, and Global Glamour. For these covers, Clive worked with many of the most in demand actresses of the day–Dorothy Lamour, Joan Crawford, and Marion Davies to name only a few–both because of his immense talent as a glamour illustrator and also because of the incomparable power Hearst wielded to make or break a movie or career. Refusing to sit for an American Weekly cover could damage one’s prospects as much as being asked to sit for one could help it. This pairing of the radiant Gene Tierney as Lola Montez is especially lovely and features Clive’s signature circular spotlight backdrop. Verso backing retains a title card in the artist’s hand and the painted cover title this is housed in the period original frame.