A large, masterfully rendered, noir dramatic interior illustration by Cecil Calvert Beall. From the illustrated serialization of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu, published by Collier’s Magazine June 12; 1948. Artwork is beautifully framed in a period gold gesso ornate frame. Story caption reads : “Camille lay on a heap of coarse canvas piled up in a corner of what seemed to be a large warehouse. There was a smell of dampness and decay in the air.”
A bio on C.C. Beall
Art Director for the National Democratic Party during President Roosevelt’s administration, Cecil Beall was a well-known illustrator and portrait artist during the 1930s and 40s. His works were regularly featured in The Saturday Evening Post and Colliers magazine.
He studied at the Pratt Institute and Art Students League, and during the War years produced a popular series of “Collier’s” cover illustrations depicting decorated World War II heroes.
A bio on Sax Rohmer
Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward (February 15, 1883 – June 1, 1959), better known as Sax Rohmer, was a prolific English novelist. He is most remembered for his series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.
Born in Birmingham he had an entirely working class education and early career before beginning to write. His first published work was in 1903, the short story The Mysterious Mummy for Pearson’s Weekly.
He made his early living writing comedy sketches for performers and short stories and serials for magazines. In 1909 he married Rose Knox. He published his first novel in 1910, Pause! and the first Fu Manchu story, The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu was serialized over 1912-13. It was an immediate success with its pacy and racist story of Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie facing the worldwide conspiracy of the ‘Yellow Peril’.
The Fu Manchu stories, together with those featuring Gaston Max or Morris Klaw, made Rohmer one of the most successful and well-paid writers in of the 1920s and 1930s. But Rohmer was very poor at handling his wealth. After World War II the Rohmers moved to New York.
A number of films were made featuring Dr. Fu Manchu. The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), featuring Boris Karloff, was the best of those produced in the 1930s, mainly because of a wonderfully slinky and sadistic performance by Myrna Loy as Fa Lo See, Fu Manchu’s evil daughter.
The name was revived in a very variable series starring Christopher Lee in the 1960s with The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967), The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968), and The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969). Pulp film legend Harry Alan Towers produced two films based on the Sumuru character in the 1960s, and an updated space fantasy version in 2002.