Date: c. 1938
Size: 32.75 x 23.5 inches
Notes: Poster, Maquette
Artist: Dudovich, Marcello
About The Poster: Collectors of any kind often rely on their instincts - something which tells them that the item they are looking at is special, different, collectible. Educated guesses, inspired purchases, fortuitous circumstance - if we are really lucky, sometimes they pay off.
I found this piece in Europe recently: it is an unsigned original poster maquette, done in pastels on canvas. Certainly Art Deco, probably Italian, and quite possibly Dudovich. At least that’s what I thought...
At the archive devoted entirely to Dudovich works in Milan, there is a definitive collection of posters, paintings and other artworks by the master. It is this very archive which has helped us confirm what we already believed to be true: this maquette is an original Dudovich design for a poster, mostly likely dated between 1938-1945. (They were so excited by the find that they instantly put it on their website!)
Bearing a striking resemblance to a poster Dudovich created for an Italian shipping line - Croisieres Italia - this maquette depicts a stylized woman standing resolutely in the wind on a prow of a ship. The vertical linearity of her posture, the strong and aggressive coloration, and the composition of the flag in the background are undeniably related.
Executed in pastels on thin, prepared canvas, the maquette measures 27.5 x 19.5 inches on a piece of canvas measuring roughly 32.75 x 23.5 inches. It is in very good condition with some minor folds and cracking - no repairs, no restoration, and no foxing. The colors pop and the design is as crisp today as it was when produced roughly 80 years ago. It is an exceptional piece!