SR Catalog

#001 MASTER BACKGROUND of McCAVISH CASTLE from THE RAVEN

$8,000-1,600

In its 20-year reign, from 1921 to 1942, Fleischer Studios was renowned for many things, among them the extremely high quality of its artwork. Unfortunately, in the difficulties that ensued when the studio closed and was taken over by Paramount to become Famous Studios, no effort was made to retain or archive its vast cache of art. Except for that which remained in the hands of employees, it virtually disappeared. The relatively few pieces that have surfaced over the years have been greeted by collectors with enthusiasm, but the instances of such discoveries have become increasingly rare.  The difficulties that eventually toppled the Studio were intrapersonal and financial and did not affect its artistic or production values. Toward the end, Fleischer produced a series of 14-minute two-reel Technicolor films, shorter than full-length features, but treated with the same high production values. Fleischer used them to showcase films they considered a niche above standard shorts. “The Raven," a “Cartoon Travesty” of Edgar Allen Poe’s famous  poem, was part of this series and one of the last films produced by Fleischer. Told in Poe-esque rhyme, it concerns the Raven, a reformed criminal now selling vacuum cleaners, who comes a tapping on the door of his old pal the Wolf. Always on the alert for the main chance, the Wolf convinces the Raven they should go see the Scottie at McCavish Castle,     where there are untold opportunities to “clean up.” And even greater opportunities for gags. This background is the master shot as the pair approach the castle. Worthy of a museum and astonishing even for the very best of Fleischer’s work, it is 17 x 13”, rendered in watercolor on background board with the distinctive Fleischer Oxberry punch, and it is in pristine condition. The “Official OK" stamp signed by long-time master background artist Erich Schenk is in the margin, and, typical of Fleischer backgrounds, a detailed production log recording the work done on the painting totaling 71 hours, is penciled on the reverse. Fleischer, 1942.
Category:
Production Art
Unsold Lots:
Available For Sale
✮:
Historic or unique item
Lot Type:
Master Background
Studio:
Fleischer

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