Anatomy of a Commission (II) – concluded

“1957 Fire Rooster 2017 – Gold Edition” (2017)
by Daniel Macchiarini (1954-)
1 x 1 in. base with a 2 in. rooster,
in gold with inlays of diamond and ruby
Coppola Collection

The gem inlays are in place and the weighty, 4-0unce masterpiece is done and in hand just as the Year of the Fire Rooster comes to an end.

And this one side-by-side with its larger bronze version, with the first-ever impressions taken from the stamps, and which I got to make.

If you are ever in San Francisco, head up to 1544 Grant Ave in North Beach and visit Danny Macchiarini. Be sure to pay proper homage to the Monkey King.

“El Arroz Frito Me Encanta”

“El Arroz Frito Me Encanta” (1972)
by Ramon Arroyo Cisneros (Arroyito) (1904-1984)
9 x 13 in., pencil and ink on paper
Coppola Collection

The Fried Rice I love!

Published in the El Nuevo Dia Newspaper (Puerto Rico), commemorating the groundbreaking 1972 visit of the US President to China.

The verb construction “me encanta” designates love in the way of enchantment or adoration as opposed to romantic love (yo amo).

This is likely a commentary on the Nixon/Mao bromance.

Originally from Havana, Arroyito was an award-wining artist and began his professional career in 1919 as a political caricaturist– but he was also a political activist who was exiled from Cuba to various locations in the Americas five times. He landed in Puerto Rico in 1963 and worked for the El Nuevo Dia for the rest of his life.

“Rosamund captive before King Alboin of the Lombards”

“Rosamund captive before King Alboin of the Lombards” (1942)
by Chevalier Fortunino Matania (1881 – 1963)
10 x 13 in., pencil, ink, and wash on paper
Coppola Collection

from: Britannia and Eve [v24 #3, March 1942] p 21
Old Tales Re-Told: A Gruesome Cup – The Ordeal of Queen Rosamond

A masterful illustrator, Matania was an Italian artist known far and wide for his incredible historical illustrations.

The title refers to a couple of different events in the history of Queen Rosamund.

Rosamund’s people, the Gepid, fought a losing battle against the Lombards for 20 years, ca. 550-570. The Lombards had killed her grandfather (the king) and her uncle.

Her father, Cunimund, lost the kingdom in 567, and he was decapitated. She was taken as a prisoner by King Alboin of Lombard, which is the scene depicted here.

Alboin’s late wife had not produced a male heir and so he married Rosamund for this purpose. He was noted for his cruelty. The title of this story (A Gruesome Cup) derives from a report by Paulus Diaconus, who states that at a royal banquet in Verona, Alboin forced her to drink from the skull of her dead father (which he carried around his belt), inviting her “to drink merrily with her father.”

Along with her lover, Helmichis, the king’s arms bearer, she plotted Alboin’s assassination. Helmichis recommended Peredeo to carry out the act, but he refused to help. Disguised as a servant, Rosamund bedded Peredeo and blackmailed him into helping. Following a great feast, the drunken king was murdered.

Rosamund ran off with Helmichis and a trove of Alboin’s private treasures. Soon after they married, however, she took up with another of the assassination conspirators, Longinus, whom she promised to marry in exchange for offing Helmichis. On to this plot against him, however, Helmichis forced Rosamund to drink the poison she had planned for him, after which he committed suicide from the same cup.

A low resolution image of the page from the magazine:


“Pear No. 5”

“Pear No. 5” (2008)
by Abbey Ryan (1979-)
5 x 5 in, Oil on Linen on Panel
Coppola Collection

Abbey started these painting-a-day works in late 2007. This is the oldest example of her work in my collection. You can see the core skills and the rapid advancement over these 10 years.

She is working on two large and complex commissions for me right now – the final self-congratulatory gifts from myself to celebrate my 60th year on the Big Blue Marble.

“Father Junipero Serra and Indian Boy”

“Father Junipero Serra and Indian Boy” (ca. 1930)
by (unknown) “M Miller?”
16.5 x 21 in., litho/woodblock print
Coppola Collection

Junipero Serra, a Franciscan friar who founded nine missions from San Diego to San Francisco, was credited for bringing Catholicism to California when it was under Spanish rule. Twelve other missions were erected after his death in 1784.

This image, a woodblock or etching-based print, is based on a statue of Father Serra that was sculpted by Sally James Farnham and installed in the Memory Garden of Brand Park, part of the Mission San Fernando de Rey de Espana, in November 1920. The date of the print is an estimate.

Pope Francis elevated Serra to sainthood in 2015. Supporters say Serra was a defender of Native Americans and reshaped the culture of the West. Serra “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it,” Francis said during Serra’s canonization ceremony.

To some, however, Serra is a symbol of the mission system’s oppression. Converted natives were kept separate from those who had not embraced Christianity, and some missions flogged and imprisoned those who tried to leave.

There have been vandalism incidents at the missions since Serra’s elevation, including of the statue in San Fernando.

All-New Comics #6 (Boy Heroes; January 1944)

All-New Comics #6 (Boy Heroes, p 02; January 1944)
by Louis Cazeneuve (1908-1977)
18 x 24 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

The published page:

In the anthology All-New Comics #6 (January 1944), the first story featuring the Boy Heroes was published: “Four Lads Get a New Name” (12 pp)

This is the origin story. Four boys, Corny, Punchy, Trigger, and Prince (who was secretly a Dutch royalty) form a kid-gang to help in the war by adventuring across war torn Europe. The group also teamed up with Captain Red Blazer and Spark.

“Joe Simon told us the Boy Heroes were part of the deal he and Jack Kirby had with Harvey Comics. The group was created by Jack, Al Avison, and Al Gabriele for the S&K shop. Jack got involved doing Stuntman and Boy Explorers, so Avison and Gabriele produced Boy Heroes.” (from the Collected Jack Kirby Collector, p 146, “The Unsung Heroes” by Frank Johnson and John Morrow).

Pencils and inks are attributed to Louis Cazeneuve, who is cited to have been a ghost artist for Kirby on Boy Commandos #6-7 during this same time period (Spring-Summer 1944).

I have six more pages from this same story: