Monday, January 24, 2011

Luciano Berriatua bought recently from Leslie M. Brooks (who manages the Wabbits store on ebay) this great drawing by Ferdinand Horvath.

Luciano asked himself two questions: When was it created and who are the artists caricatured?

To find the answer, he followed the following reasoning:

The paper's three circular pegs and 2 rectangular ones started being used around mid-1935 and until 1944 but strangely the size of the paper (9,5" x 12") corresponds to pre-1935 sheets (the ones used starting in 1935 are usually 10" x 12") . It is therefore likely that pre-1935 paper was used with the new perforations in this case.

In addition, since Horvath left Disney in 1937, the drawing probably dates from between 1935 to 1937.

The first model sheets of Fantasia's centaurs, created for the "Cydalise" sequence, are from September 1938. Horvath's drawings would not therefore be connected to Fantasia. More on this below.

Who are the artists caricatured? The left centaur definitely looks like Ham Luske. The one on the right is identified as Gustaf Tenggren, which is definitely not impossible. Leslie Brooks guessed that the centaur in the middle was Gilles "Frenchy" de Tremaudan, but de Tremaudan always wore very recognizable Harold-Lloyd-type glasses and did not have the kind of hair which appear to be one of the two key features of the middle centaur, along with his nose. By looking at Studio photographs, Luciano recognized Johnny Cannon (see above).

If the drawing was not linked to Fantasia, what project inspired it?

In Robin Allan's book Walt Disney and Europe, in the Appendix B, we see a list of "Other unfinished European projects" which includes 1116 The Odissey (Adventures of Ulysses) and 1125 Mythological Research (Stories of Mythology), both probably from the '30s.

A large number of Hurter's drawings in the book He Drew As He Pleased seem to come from those projects, as is the drawing below from Horvath that appeared in the catalog of Graphic Gallery number 8.


Anonymous said...

Could they have come from people working on the short "Mickey's Polo Team" ?'s_Polo_Team


Bob D said...

Could the middle one be a slight on Joe Grant? Looks to me like it has some Jewish caricaturizations.