Maleficent as the black dragon—Earle brings the Disney villainess to brilliant, terrifying life
(Walt Disney Studios, 1959) Original concept painting by Eyvind Earle for Sleeping Beauty, portraying the sorceress Maleficent as a dragon soaring high above her ancient castle. In true Earle form, the scene is deftly and vividly realized, depicting the film’s arch villainess in her most powerful form—a gigantic black dragon. With wings spread like knife points, the immense creature is rendered high against a glowing green sky, peering downward for Prince Philip as she glides over tower and steeple and the reach of her kingdom’s thorny vines. Accomplished in gouache on 21 x 8.25 artist's board, with Earle signing in black paint in the lower right corner. Archivally mounted and framed to an overall size of 30 x 17.5. In fine condition, with tack holes to corners. Disney artist Eyvind Earle was Sleeping Beauty's production designer, and Disney gave him a significant amount of freedom in designing the settings and selecting colors for the film. Earle also painted the majority of the backgrounds himself, and his stylistic influence is readily apparent in the final product. A terrific depiction of the ‘Mistress of All Evil’ at her most devastating—undoubtedly one of the more imposing and striking Earle paintings that we have offered.
Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
#602 - Ended February 10, 2021
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