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Rolf Armstrong

American, 1889 1960

Carmen, Brown & Bigelow Calendar Illustration

Rolf Armstrong (American, 1889-1960) Carmen, Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, 1929 Oil on canvas 60 x 80 in. Signed lower right In 1929, Rolf Armstrong returned from a year in Paris. Inspired by the exotic beauties captured by French artists seen in the salons, museums, and galleries, Armstrong completed four monumental nudes - The Enchantress, The Song of India, Arabian Nights, and the present work, Carmen. Named after Georges Bizet's famous Opera, Carmen is the last of the four Paris Nudes to be offered at auction. The striking palette of yellow, red, and black arrests the eye and draws the viewer into the sultry details of red fringe and black lace. It's epic, larger than life size highlights its importance and underscores the seductive nature of the Spanish dancer, Carmen. In addition to being published in calendars from Brown & Bigelow, this illustration was also published in 1930s as the packaging for the "Carmen Brand" latex condoms. Carmen was also reproduced on page 113 of The Art of the Pin-Up by Dian Hanson, Sarahjane Blum, and Louis K. Meisel, Tacschen, 2014. A framed vintage tear sheet and a vintage Carmen Brand packaging accompanies this lot.

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