Tour of Exhibition Portrait Index Catalog and Traveling Exhibition
Zelda Fitzgerald 1900–1947
Harrison Fisher's portrait, freely drawn with conté crayon, may reflect the tension he perceived in Zelda Fitzgerald. Fisher depicted her in profile, emphasizing the structure of her nose and chin, and diverting her "hawk's eyes" away from the viewer. Energetic, almost chaotic lines layered over her torso convey her passion—and perhaps even her delicate mental state. Despite outrageous behavior, Zelda was widely praised for her spontaneity, intellect, and dignity.

The angular features that made Zelda Sayre a stunning beauty when F. Scott Fitzgerald married her in 1920 are accentuated. Fisher, who also drew Scott Fitzgerald, must have been attracted not only to her beauty but to her enigmatic character. Anxious to compete with her husband's success, Zelda pursued numerous creative avenues of her own—ballet, painting and drawing, and writing. None of these efforts met with the recognition she craved.

Harrison Fisher (1877–1934)
Sanguine conté crayon on paperboard, 1927
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of her daughter, Mrs. Scottie Smith
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Home | Teacher's Guide | Credits | Comments | Copyright