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Zelda: An Illustrated Life: The Private World of Zelda Fitzgerald

Peter Kurth; Jane S. Livingston; Zelda Fitzgerald; Eleanor Anne Lanahan; Zelda Fitzgerald; Editor-Eleanor Anne Lanahan

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ISBN 10: 0810939835 / ISBN 13: 9780810939837
Published by Harry N Abrams, 1996
Used Condition: Used: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Zelda: An Illustrated Life: The Private ...

Publisher: Harry N Abrams

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title


Zelda Fitzgerald is best known as the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the quintessential novelist of the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties. At his side, she was the toast of two continents, a model for the ocean-crossing Flapper of the day. Much of Zelda's life was appropriated by Scott for his fiction, but her full story, particularly her own artistic ambitions and expressions, is not widely known.
In addition to tracing Zelda Fitzgerald's personal history, this is the first book to focus extensively on her creative achievement, her painting in particular, on which she concentrated in the last fourteen years of her life. Although many of her works were lost and others were burned after her death by a jealous sister, Zelda's daughter, Scottie, saved more than 100. That legacy forms the basis of this book, which reproduces 80 of her best paintings. They range over a variety of themes: figures, landscapes, cityscapes, flower still lifes, and biblical tableaux. In addition, there are vivid fairy-tale paintings made for Scottie, and a group of intricate and beautiful paper-doll constructions created for her grandson late in her life. Also dating from that last decade, before her tragic death at the age of forty-eight in a hospital fire in North Carolina, is a group of fanciful cityscapes that portray her travels with Scott twenty years earlier.
In addition to Zelda's paintings, drawings, and constructions, many biographical photographs, artifacts, letters, and other memorabilia are reproduced. An introduction by Zelda's granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan, who knows the art more intimately than anyone and who has gathered it for the book, sets the scene. Noted biographer Peter Kurth paints a spirited picture of the tumultuous world the Fitzgeralds inhabited during the Jazz Age. An essay by art historian Jane Livingston offers insights into Zelda's art, examining works from different periods and placing them in the context of several of the major artists of her time.

From Publishers Weekly:

While Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald's work as a short-story writer, novelist (Save Me the Waltz) and dancer has been appreciated by biographers and feminist critics who rescued her from her famous husband's shadow, her painting is less well known. This remarkable album, which accompanies a touring exhibition, reproduces 80 of her paintings and includes family photos, drawings and memorabilia among its 140 illustrations (114 in color). Zelda's exuberant, fanciful cityscapes of New York and Paris in the 1940s radiate irresistible charm and energy. Her flower still lifes are jewels of organic unfolding, while her serene landscapes of North Carolina seem a respite from the mental illness that plagued her until her death at age 48 in a midnight fire in a North Carolina mental hospital in 1948. Also reproduced are her almost hallucinatory biblical allegories (she embraced born-again Christianity), her paper dolls and her wildly imaginative paintings based on fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland. Novelist/biographer Kurth portrays her marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald as one of mutual support along with alcoholic self-destructiveness. Art historian Livingston argues that Zelda's best painting belongs to a conservative, even anti-modernist tradition. Lanahan, Zelda's granddaughter, provides an affectionate introduction.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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