A John Decker portrait of Harpo Marx as Gainsborough's "Blue Boy"
Oil on board, unsigned, framed, depicting Harpo Marx's head on the body of Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy.
Provenance: Estate of Harpo Marx; Collection of William W. Marx, Rancho Mirage, California.
Likely painted in the 1930s, this portrait was included in an exhibition of Decker's work entitled "Art and the Stars" in 1942. In addition to creating set pieces for films and painting more traditional portraits, he was well known for these renderings of celebrities as historical figures or the subjects of famous works of art, also painting W.C. Fields as Queen Victoria (a painting which hung prominently at Chasen's for many years), Greta Garbo as Mona Lisa, and Mickey Rooney in the style of Anthony Van Dyke. This painting hung in Harpo Marx's home for many years and his son Bill Marx featured it on the cover of his memoir, Son of Harpo Speaks! (Milwaukee: Applause!, 2010.)
Overall: 38 3/4 x 55 in.; Within frame: 31 1/2 x 47 1/2 in.