Sunday, April 4, 2010

Figbash Original Art

Edward Gorey often used Figbash as a recurring character after his debut in The Raging Tide. Figbash would be extensively employed by Mr. Gorey to decorate theater sets, announcement cards, posters, fine art prints and even appear in his own alphabet book. Even with these frequent sightings, Figbash rarely appears in original art outside of the Gorey Archives.
I own a delightful pen & ink and watercolor portrait of Figbash dancing on the tip of steeple. This is the only finished piece of original Figbash art that I have run across in a private collection, and the only color Figbash art I have ever seen. A rough sketch featuring Figbash (for one of Mr. Gorey's mug designs) was sold at auction recently, but it was not a finished piece of art. There may be other Figbash drawings in private hands, but as yet I haven't heard of them. I acquired this painting from Gotham Book Mart and was told that it was made for Linda Moody of Moody Books Inc., and that it was unpublished.

A couple years after I acquired the artwork, I was able to find out more information on the piece. Edward Gorey made the art in 1993 as an apology for losing/mislaying some books which Ms. Moody had sent to Mr. Gorey for signing - the books were eventually found, signed and returned with a short letter of apology and the accompanying painting of Figbash. The note (pictured to the left) was sold in an online auction by Ms. Moody. After the auction, I contacted Ms. Moody and confirmed that the note was indeed sent with the art she had sold to GBM. Unfortunately, I did not win the auction, and do not have the note in my collection.


Bloglion said...

Hmm. I thought the lizards/urns was my favorite, but I've changed my mind. If I could have one drawing, it'd be this. It's perfect.

ampootozote said...

He is a cutie!

Philip said...

If your posts weren't so fascinating, I would have to give up reading this blog - it is making me increasingly ill with envy!! The sky behind this picture is just exquisite. In fact, the whole thing is beautiful. How large is the image?

ampootozote said...

The Figbash painting is approximately 4.75" tall by 5.5" wide, which is rather large by Gorey standards.