Ludwig Bemelmans (Austrian/American, 1898-1962), "Habana Harbor at Nig – Lofty Marketplace
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Ludwig Bemelmans (Austrian/American, 1898-1962), "Habana Harbor at Night", 1957, oil on board, signed

Ludwig Bemelmans (Austrian/American, 1898-1962), "Habana Harbor at Night", 1957, oil on board, signed

Item Description:

Signed lower right "Bemelmans", dated and located lower left "Cuba 57", inscribed in pencil on verso "Habana Harbor at Night", bearing label from Sotheby's Arcade, New York, in a mid-20th century frame


Surface scratches, losses to edge of board at top right (see images). Please contact for specific condition questions and to request a full condition report. Not examined out of the frame. Lofty does not guarantee the condition or authenticity of frames.


Sale of Sotheby's Arcade Auctions, New York, October 25, 1985

Private collection, New City, New York


Sight: Height 30 in. x Width 42 in.

Frame: Height 31.25 in. x Width 43.25 in.

About The Artist:

Ludwig Bemelmans, born in Meran, Austria in 1898, is perhaps best known for creating the Madeline series of illustrated children's books. Bemelmans was well known in elite social circles in the United States and Europe, though his work featured subjects from all walks of life. Other than writing and illustrating picture books, Bemelmans was also a cartoonist, advertiser, journalist, decorator, screenwriter, hotelier, and restaurateur.

At the age of sixteen, Bemelmans came to the United States and took a job at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel as a busboy. He quickly worked his way up at the hotel, and was known for drawing humorous cartoons using the hotel staff and clientele as inspiration. His sketching style was as quick as his wit, and readers were charmed by his eccentric persona.

After opening his own restaurant in 1919 and achieving budding success as a cartoonist, Bemelmans began to write children's books that he illustrated with simple watercolors, beginning with the well-received "Hansai", a beguiling story of two children and their dog in the Austrian Tyrol. He began the cherished Madeline series in 1939. The artist wrote fifteen books and many articles over the course of his career. Bemelmans was also a painter, creating murals for the children's playroom of Aristotle Onassis' yacht, and for the Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue in New York.


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