Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Josef Pierre Nuyttens

A couple weeks ago I bought this little painting of a cat by Josef Pierre Nuyttens. It really has nothing to do with Oz, but I couldn't resist - it's charming in a silly way. It was offered once on eBay and didn't sell, but it was offered again at a third of the original price and I fell for it.

Nuyttens was a well regarded artist in the early to mid-20th century who had a long career as a painter, illustrator, printmaker, costume designer, and club owner. He produced society portraits and sheet music covers. In 1920, the Belgian royal family commissioned portraits and he was decorated by King Albert I with a Knighthood in the Order of King Leopold II. Nuyttens was born in Belgium in 1877 and moved to America in 1894, settling and working in Chicago.

Nuyttens also illustrated several books for Reilly & Britton, including some titles written by L. Frank Baum. Most of these were published under various pseudonyms, although Phoebe Daring was in Baum's name. Other books include the two Flying Girl titles, and the second edition of Annabel. Non-Baum books include the adult novel Kenny, two titles in the Azalea series, and a dustjacket for the Captain Becky series - with someone else's interior illustrations!

I don't know when this painting is from, as it isn't dated - Nuyttens lived until 1960, and I assume this is from a later period. Apparently he was an incessant smoker, and died in a house fire which also destroyed quite a bit of his original work.


Bell-Snickle said...

I keep saying it but I love your blog! So many beautiful things and I've learned so much from you. :-)

Bill Campbell said...

Thanks - though I'll admit a lot of the information is the result of simple web searches!