Skip to main content

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Artist
David Silvette, 28 May 1909 - 29 Oct 1992
Sitter
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 24 Sep 1896 - 21 Dec 1940
Date
1935
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
61cm x 50.8cm (24" x 20"), Accurate
Frame: 77.5 x 67.6 x 7cm (30 1/2 x 26 5/8 x 2 3/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
NPG.72.107
Exhibition Label
It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who named the self-indulgent 1920s the Jazz Age, and his best-selling novel This Side of Paradise became one of the decade's first literary landmarks. But his most enduring achievement was The Great Gatsby (1925), which, in meticulously crafted prose, wove a modern morality tale set against a backdrop of luxury. Fitzgerald and his talented wife Zelda experienced-in New York, Paris, and Hollywood-some of the glamorous life he evoked. But struggling with financial disappointments, alcoholism, and Zelda's mental illness, Fitzgerald also probed the destructive underside of the era's bright illusions. When he met artist David Silvette in 1935, Fitzgerald was suffering from an emotional breakdown. He agreed to pose, however, and considered this a "swell" portrait. His career as chronicler of the dreams and disappointments of contemporary life was cut short by his death five years later.
Provenance
The artist; purchased 1951 by Arthur Mizener, Ithaca, N.Y.; purchased 1972 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
20th Century Americans: 1900-1930 (re-installation 2012)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322
Place
United States\North Carolina