The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

Fritz Kreisler

Artist
Paolo Garretto, 1903 - 1989
Publication
Vanity Fair, active 1914 - 1936
Sitter
Fritz Kreisler, 2 Feb 1875 - 29 Jan 1962
Date
1933
Type
Drawing
Medium
Collage of airbrushed gouache and crayon on wood laminate and illustration board
Dimensions
Image: 30.8cm x 23.8cm (12 1/8" x 9 3/8")
Board: 30.8cm x 23.8cm (12 1/8" x 9 3/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© The Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
Object number
NPG.89.159
Culture
Fritz Kreisler: European\Austrian
Exhibition Label
Paolo Garretto's witty depiction of Fritz Kreisler is an aptly disembodied portrait for a musician whose fame rests as much on his recordings as on his physical stage presence. The Viennese-born violinist's reputation was well established in the first decade of the twentieth century, particularly in America, where tours fueled an enthusiastic popular following. But his 1910 recording contract with the Victor Phonograph Company gave him a previously unimaginable degree of renown.
Garretto's portrait, drawn on a thin piece of wood veneer against an airbrushed color background, reflects his exposure to Italian futurism, French art deco design, and surrealist imagery. Under Garretto's hands, noted one contemporary, "persons become moving puppets. . . . [His] drawings might really be called . . . marvelous surrealistic toys for adults." This playful merging of man and violin appeared in Vanity Fair magazine in 1934.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection