“The Light of New York” by Walter Dean Goldbeck was created as a full page color advertisement that ran in The Saturday Evening Post for General Electric. The inspired and almost transcendentally captivating image would later become a Judge magazine cover (August 1, 1914) under the title “The Spirit of New York.” The image, which features a mischievous goddess sprinkling moonlight down onto the city below also captured the imagination of sheet music publishers Fred Fischer, who used it as the cover for his composition “I Found a Rose in the Devil’s Garden.”
A defining original artwork from the golden age of illustration and a shining example of Americana advertising from the storied collection of Charles Martignette. Painting is framed in a hand made gessoed batwing Art Nouveau in aesthetic gallery frame that complements the painting magnificently and is itself a work of art, conceived and handmade by Stephen Hutak at The Dream Gardener.
Little is known about Walter Dean Goldbeck, he died in 1925 at the age of 43, his work appeared one other time as a Judge Magazine cover and he illustrated a cover for Munsey’s Magazine in February of 1915. He created interior plates for several books during the years of 1908- 1913, in addition to executing oil painting portraits for wealthy New York City patrons during these years. A large painting by the artist from 1914 is in The Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection.
The quality and inventive imagery of this work is sensational with a mostly dark New York City being illuminated from a single arc that drops from an Art Nouveau maiden’s sprig of holly.