Zelda, an Illustrated Life: The Private World of Zelda Fitzgerald
Eleanor Anne Lanahan
Harry N. Abrams, 1996 - Art - 127 pages
Zelda Fitzgerald is best known as the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the quintessential novelist of the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties. At his side, she was the toast of two continents, a model for the ocean-crossing Flapper of the day. Much of Zelda's life was appropriated by Scott for his fiction, but her full story, particularly her own artistic ambitions and expressions, is not widely known. In addition to tracing Zelda Fitzgerald's personal history, this is the first book to focus extensively on her creative achievement, her painting in particular, on which she concentrated in the last fourteen years of her life. Although many of her works were lost and others were burned after her death by a jealous sister, Zelda's daughter, Scottie, saved more than 100. That legacy forms the basis of this book, which reproduces 80 of her best paintings. They range over a variety of themes: figures, landscapes, cityscapes, flower still lifes, and biblical tableaux. In addition, there are vivid fairy-tale paintings made for Scottie, and a group of intricate and beautiful paper-doll constructions created for her grandson late in her life. Also dating from that last decade, before her tragic death at the age of forty-eight in a hospital fire in North Carolina, is a group of fanciful cityscapes that portray her travels with Scott twenty years earlier. In addition to Zelda's paintings, drawings, and constructions, many biographical photographs, artifacts, letters, and other memorabilia are reproduced. An introduction by Zelda's granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan, who knows the art more intimately than anyone and who has gathered it for the book, sets the scene. Noted biographer Peter Kurth paints a spiritedpicture of the tumultuous world the Fitzgeralds inhabited during the Jazz Age. An essay by art historian Jane Livingston offers insights into Zelda's art, examining works from different periods and placing them in the context of several of the major artists of her time.
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