fredag 23 januari 2015

A Christmas legend of Hamelin Town

Here's a typical Tenggren illustration commission from his great period in the 1920ies. The story was published for the Christmas number of Good Housekeeping in 1928, but the actual work was done and delivered July 15. A month later, August 16, it was paid with $600, a not uncommon sum in Gustaf's ledger from the time.
The two illustrations were probably made in full color but the magazine has chosen to print them in a reduced color scale. The painting is cut in half to fit the spread.
Luckily, I found the original painting while browsing through the Miscellaneous illustration crates in the Tenggren papers, Kerlan Collection at University of Minneapolis, MA.
Opening spread for A Christmas legend of Hamelin Town, Good Housekeeping 1928.
Original painting for A Christmas legend of Hamelin Town.
Kerlan collection of the University of Minnesota Libraries
with permissions from the Archives and Special Collections
The other illustration for this story shows an old lady and a crowd of children. Let alone Tenggren's excellence in painting cute kids, this painting is interesting in another way. The model for the kneeling old lady is Tenggren's own mother, Augusta. 
Full page illustration in three colors for
A Christmas legend of Hamelin Town, Good Housekeeping 1928.
Tenggren often used his relatives as models for his paintings, and he loved his mother very much as I think can be seen from the beautiful portrait from 1932 below.
Gustaf Tenggren: Portrait in chalk of Augusta, mother of the artist, 1932.