Grapefruit Moon Gallery is ecstatic to offer Sultana, one of Henry Clive’s early masterworks. Commissioned by the Louis F. Dow calendar company in 1925, Sultana is in all regards the artist’s signature and defining creation, featuring an exotic nearly nude dreamy enchantress in an art deco Egyptian fantasy dreamscape. This remarkable published artwork is littered with sophisticated touches such as the Moorish architecture which glimmers behind Sultana as she symbolically releases a white dove. This timeless image was again issued in 1941 as a mutoscope card with the title Lucky Dove–a vintage calendar print and mutoscope card are included in the sale. This is easily the artist’s most famous and iconic work, from the collection of Charles Martignette.
We acquired this painting in 2012 and it sold immediately, we are thrilled to be able to offer again this monumental and iconic important illustration. Sultana is featured as a full page color plate (pg. 14) in the recent Taschen book The Art Of Pin-Up.
Henry Clive is among our very favorite illustrators, he was born in Australia and first came to America as a magician, billed as “Clive the Illusionist”, “The Great Clive” and “The Debonair Magician.” He also found work in Hollywood appearing in several silent movies of the early 1920s. By the late 1920s Clive transformed himself into a much in demand illustrator, he worked for Paramount Films, creating poster designs and movie publicity for their films including The Sheik; starring Rudolph Valentino. But his magazine cover illustration work was what ultimately propelled him into being an iconic force of the art deco Jazz Age. His pastels and oils graced the covers of Smart Set, True Confessions, Screen Play and Theatre Magazine, in addition to doing covers for William Randolph Hearst’s American Weekly (a relationship that lasted three decades). Clive was adept at both pastel work and oils, his original works are extremely scarce and coveted by collectors today.
Clive also executed several mural works creating large fantastic nudes at Hollywood restaurants and watering holes in the 1930’s and 40’s including Jack Larue’s, The Masquer’s Club and the long gone Jade Room.