Grapefruit Moon Gallery is delighted to offer this original pastel by female artist Tempest Inman that evokes the smoldering intensity of Rudolph Valentino as Julio in the iconic tango scene of “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Used as the July 1922 cover of Photoplay magazine, this is easily the most famous movie magazine cover in Hollywood film history, and was pivotal in creating the public image of Rudolph Valentino as the epitome of the Latin Lover. In addition to its original appearance, the image was reproduced as the cover of the 1972 “Photoplay Treasury.”
The Valentino tango became a national sensation, and in 1923 the star reproduced this costume for his national dance tour alongside then-wife Natacha Rambova, sponsored by the Mineralava Clay cosmetics company. At each stop, Valentino would be the guest judge at a beauty contest, further reinforcing the image of himself as international playboy. This image would be in continual interplay with murmurs that Valentino was in fact a homosexual, and his role as both judge of female beauty and makeup spokesman epitomizes his complex place in silent film history. The choice of Mineralava to use the image of him as Julio for their campaign underscores the runaway significance this iconic magazine cover had already taken on by 1923.This belonged to Ken Galente, who operated The Silver Screen Gallery in the garment district of New York City for many years. The pastel has been silk lined and framed in a 22 carat gold leaf frame. It displays brilliantly, the condition is excellent with strong vibrant colors and great clarity.