Goodnight Sweetheart by Edward D’Ancona
This is a recently discovered and rare surviving published pin-up calendar painting by the prolific illustrator Edward D’Ancona. This was originally published with the title “Goodnight Sweetheart” by The Louis F. Dow Calendar Company of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Grapefruit Moon Gallery just unearthed a collection of new-to-the-market pin-up paintings that had previously been in a house in Saint Louis Park, MN since the 1970s! This painting has been recently cleaned and is in pristine condition. It is on its original pine stretcher bars with calendar company notations.
In this inviting boudoir scene a sexy redhead in a clinging nightie bids the viewer a sultry good night.
We are assuming the title was a reference to the 1954 hit song “Goodnight Sweetheart” (written by Calvin Carter and James “Pookie” Hudson in 1953. It was originally recorded by the rhythm and blues group, The Spaniels, in 1954).
About the artist: Edward D’Ancona
Although D’Ancona was a prolific pin-up artist who produced hundreds of enjoyable images, relatively little is known about his background.
Edward D’Ancona sometimes signed his paintings with the name “D’Amarie”, but his real name appears on numerous calendar prints published from the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s, and perhaps as late as 1960.
The first company to publish D’Ancona pinups, about 1935 to 1937, was Louis F. Dow in St Paul. D’Ancona worked in oil on canvas and his originals from that time usually measured about 30 x 22 inches. His early work is comparable in quality to that of the young Gil Elvgren, who had begun to work for Dow in 1937. Because D’Ancona produced so much work for Dow, one might assume that he was born in Minnesota and lived and worked in the St Paul, Minneapolis area. It is known that he supplied illustrations to the Goes Company in Cincinnati and to several soft-drink firms, which capitalized on his works similarity to the Sundblom/Elvgren style, which was so identified with Coca-Cola.
During the 1940s and 1950s, D’Ancona superb use of primary colours, masterful brushstrokes, and painterly style elevated him to the ranks of the very best artist in pin-up and pin-up art. His subject matter at this time resembled Elvgren’s. Both enjoyed painting nudes and both employed situation poses a great deal. D’Ancona also painted a fair amount of evening-gown scenes, as did Elvgren, Art Frahm and Erbit.
By 1960, D’Ancona had moved into the calendar art field. Instead of doing pinups and glamour images, however, he specialized in pictures on the theme of safety in which wholesome policemen helped children across the street in suburban settings that came straight out of Norman Rockwell.
Edward D’Ancona biography borrowed from The Great American Pin-Up by Charles G Martignette & Louis K Meisel.