Signed small sketch drawing, double-sided, the color drawing of Buddha, the reverse drawings rather interesting scribbles, 8" by 6 1/4"inside the mat, 14" by 12 1/4" framed, executed in pencil and watercolor, signed by famous artist and author LUDWIG BEMELMANS (1898-1962). The reverse side scribbles are initialed "LB" in several places. A piece of paper behind the drawing bears in pencil the word "Hammer" and reference numbers, strongly suggesting that this work was from the inventory of that esteemed New York gallery which handled many works by Bemelmans. The artist was born in present-day northern Italy (then Austria-Hungary) at the end of the nineteenth century. He served in the US military in World War I and became an American citizen by 1918. During much of the 1920's he was trying to become an artist, but it was not until 1939 that the first of the famous "Madeline" children's books came out. Between then and 1961 a total of six were published (and one later, posthumously). Bemelmans also wrote adult books and movie scripts, and moved among the Hollywood elite. He was a world traveler and careful observer of everything he encountered. Apparently he was known for sketching on the backs of envelopes and paper scraps. This seems to be one of those spontaneous drawings, a preliminary sketch in which the artist was working out in his head various artistic issues (note color notations at top). The paper is very thin, and has three punch holes at left and browned tape residue. Over time the work has browned and there are several moderate folds. This is an affordable example of the work of a significant artist, major works of whom bring over $100,000 at major auctions.
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