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This astonishing, absolutely classic illustration is by Gustaf Tenggren, and is one of a series he created for Walt to promote the opening of his groundbreaking, all-important film. Rendered in pen and ink to resemble a woodcut, the drawing is 8-58” x 9” on heavy board and is in impeccable condition. The irregular shape of the piece, determined by letting the objects portrayed create the final result, is typical of much of Tenggren’s finished work. The piece is featured on the title page of the chapter on Tenggren in John Canemaker’s Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists. In 1922, Tenggren, a highly-regarded Swedish children’s book illustrator, emigrated to the United States. His European sensibilities blended successfully with American artistic traditions and his career flourished. The Great Depression, however, changed everything and dried up work across the nation. Like many others, he found his way to the thriving Disney Studio. His talent and richly multi-cultural imagination were just what Walt was looking for. In 1931, Walt, Roy, and their wives had taken an extended vacation in Europe where Walt’s vision was expanded by the work done in children’s books and the possibilities he saw for future films. Excited by the European artistic heritage he discovered, he bought books in every country he visited and sent them back to the Studio, where things were already involved in Snow White. His first full-length animated film was enormously important to Walt, but typically he was already looking beyond it. He wanted to make films with the depth and richness of the 19th century European storybooks. Tenggren was made to order and, in 1936, he went to work creating rich concept and inspirational work for features from Snow White to Bambi, as well as background styling and atmosphere for such shorts as “Little Hiawatha,’’ “The Ugly Duckling,” and “The Old Mill,” overall creating a profoundly important body of work that has made him one of the most highly regarded Disney artists to this day. Disney, 1937
Category: Pre-Production
Unsold Lots: Available For Sale
Lot Type: Concept
From: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Studio: Disney

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