Now and then I receive email enquiries regarding background information on this image or that.
This image is one that particularly caught my attention because I greatly admire the artwork of WT Benda. Peter was wondering if I knew the date or where this work might be. I do not. This reproduction is from an old Architectural Digest magazine with only the caption: A Mural Decoration by W.T. Benda.
Knowing Benda's fascination with masks, collecting and creating them, this retinue of beasts and demons makes a bit of sense, but still is a mysterious crowd. Some of you out there are fans of Benda, and knowledgeable besides. Do you know the date or whereabouts of this mural? Is this a reproduction of a study or of the actual mural? Are these dimensional masks placed on a painting, or is this a conceptual preliminary meant to drive the execution of full-sized masks? Enquiring minds want to know.
WT Benda — A Mural Decoration
Interesting. It looks almost medieval in the small view.
I didn't find additional information, but I did find a link to a YouTube video, In Appreciation of W. T. Benda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky4uUTYHnm4&feature=youtu.be
that I think you will enjoy. You may see some images you haven't already seen.
Also, you might like a few of these high resolution images found at A Study In Contrasts: http://studyincontrasts.tumblr.com/tagged/W.-T.-Benda
This illustration appeared as a color plate (Plate IV) in the 1946 Encyclopaedia Britannica, volume 15, accompanying the "Masks" article and identified as a "mural painting by Wladyslaw T. Benda showing the dramatic use of masks as they are employed in grotesque pantomime". Two other plates show Benda masks.
Two more remarks:
The Encyclopaedia Britannica article on masks was written partly by Benda himself.
The illustration may represent Shakespeare's The Tempest. See http://www.kennethpaullesko.com/Exhibitions/Director's-Choice-2009/Oswald-Fell.htm
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