This Pierrot-inspired flapper girl pastel was created by Henry Clive as cover art for a Hollywood Comedy Club burlesque program. With a mischevious glint in her eye, the smiling blond embodies the devil-may-care ethos of the early jazz age. Henry Clive came to America from Australia on the Vaudeville circuit as a slight of hand magician. Working in New York and Los Angeles, he appeared in several silent movies while he built his name as an artist.
Along with Raphael Kirchner and Alberto Vargas, Clive got some of his first work illustrating program covers and sheet music for impresario Flo Ziegfeld. Clive in fact created a similar image, featuring this same model in pierrot costume, for the sheet music of Irving Berlin’s “A Pretty Girl is like a Melody” which debuted in the 1919 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies.
After moving to California to work in silent films (he would become a staff illustrator for Paramount Pictures in 1927) Clive was very much a part of the Hollywood social scene. A dedicated “joiner,” he claimed membership in both the Hollywood Comedy Club and the storied Masquer’s club, for which he created the notorious erotic nude murals which decorated their central bar. This original pastel illustration is an early example of his fraternal pursuits, and includes a faint dedication to a fellow member of the Hollywood Comedy Club for which this was created.
This pastel is properly lined and silk matted behind glass in a handsome silver gesso gallery frame.