A colorful and festive original gouache painting by the prolific Hungarian artist Willy Pogany created as an interior book plate illustration. A drunken king is carried off by the kingdom’s subjects after a sumptuous feast in this colorful and cleverly rendered original illustration. The verso is notated “pg. 47,” referring t0 the it was printed on as this was a published work. It is boldly signed lower right and nicely matted and framed behind glass.
Born in Szeged, Hungary, he became one of the better known and successful illustrators of the Golden Age of Illustration, completing over 100 books. Among them are A Treasury of Verse for Little Children, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He is probably best known for pen and ink drawings of mythology subjects geared towards children. He later did covers for “The Metropolitan Magazine” and worked for his friend William Randolph Hearst’s “American Weekly.”
He studied at Budapest Technical University and attended art schools in Munich and Paris before moving to London at age 23. In 1907, he began illustrating children’s books and did a series of annual gift books, special deluxe editions.
He was not a British citizen, and soon after World War I began, he emigrated with his family to New York City and became a permanent resident there. He continued illustrating books and also designed scenery and costumes for the Metropolitan Opera House and mural decorations for public and private residences including that of William Randolph Hearst. For a period he lived in Hollywood and did celebrity portraits and set designs before returning to New York where he died on July 30, 1955.