Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Floyd Gottfredson Paintings

Over at Comicrazy there is a great group of images of some paintings by Floyd Gottfredson. I think he and Carl Barks were the only ex-Disney-patriots to get permission to make and sell paintings with the Disney characters that each had been so instrumental in developing - Barks with Donald Duck and Gottfredson with Mickey Mouse.
Gottfredson's compositions have a lot of dead space in them. When I noticed this, I wondered if these images were to have type added or if his compositional aesthetic was the result of allowing space for dialogue balloons in the Mickey newspaper strip for so many years. I'm not complaining - just observing.

Here is a little information from a Heritage Auction on e-bay:

Floyd Gottfredson - "Mickey Mouse and Pluto the Racer" Painting (1978). This lighthearted painting of Mickey Mouse and Pluto at the dog races was the third in the series of 24 paintings originally commissioned by collector Malcolm Willits from 1978-83. These remarkable works were the only full-scene Mickey Mouse paintings that Floyd Gottfredson did. Gottfredson was the primary creator of the Mickey Mouse daily newspaper strip, and his first daily debuted on May 5, 1930. Each painting in the commissioned series was based on a storyline that Gottfredson created for the newspaper strip, and this work was based on "Mickey Mouse and Pluto the Racer," which ran from December 30, 1934 through February 3, 1935. The storyline was also used in the 1936 Big Little Book, Mickey Mouse and Pluto the Racer. The caption for this work (reproduced on page 11) in The Malcolm Willits Collection of the Mickey Mouse Paintings by Floyd Gottfredson reads, "Mickey's pride is his dog, Pluto, and even a pair of crooks who use drugged dog biscuits at the Pooch Park racetrack cannot keep Pluto from winning the final race and receiving the jubilant acclaim of his young master." Pluto only appeared in three of the Gottfredson paintings, and this is the only one where he takes center stage! This fabulous mixed-media on paper mouse-terpiece has an image area of 20.5" x 16", is framed, and is in Excellent condition. The painting was signed by Gottfredson at the lower right.

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