Created to accompany the 13th installment of the serialized novel “Silver Knees” in the April 4th 1931 issue of Liberty Magazine, this oil on canvas painting features a romanticized depiction of love during the Mexican-American war. In this lush scene, Gitana, a gypsy dancer, enjoys an afternoon serenade, as her star crossed lover, an American war hero, looks on quietly. “Silver Knees” was the title used by Liberty Magazine for their exclusive serialization of “Gitana,” one of many popular historical novels by R.W. Chambers published in the 1920s/30s. Verso is notated by the artist with a personalized and dated inscription and retains a Liberty Art Department verso label.
Illustrator, Norman Mills Price was born in Brampton, Ontario (1877) and began his studies at the Ontario School of Art. Around 1901 he spent time in London, studying at the Goldsmith’s Institute; Westminster School of Art; and with Cruikshank. While in London, he was the founder of Carlton Studios.
He later went on to Paris, studying at the Academie Julian, with J.P. Laurens and R.E. Miller. He did freelance work in Paris until an assignment in Belgium for Century brought him to the attention of other American publishers. In 1911, he had a studio in New York City, and worked for such publication as Harper’s, Cosmopolitan, and Liberty.
He illustrated the novels: The Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare (1905), The Rogue’s Moon (1929), Leif Erikson the Lucky (1939), Treasure Island, and other books. Price is best known for his depiction of pirates and Vikings.