Artist: Bjørn Wiinblad
Print: Silk Screen Print (Print by TT Serigrafi and signed by Wiinblad in print)
Dimensions: 24.4 x 66.9 in (62 x 170 cm)
Condition: Good condition - signs of handling, light folds along with ageing signs - see pictures.
Dissemination: Extremely rare
You are looking at huge, oblong and incredible theater poster by Wiinblad advertising the play "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
First set up in 1895 in Victorian London the play was a huge success and marked the highlight of Wilde's career as a playwright. The title of the play refers to the last line of the play: «On the contrary, Aunt Augusta, I have for the first time in my life realized the vital importance of being Earnest.»
This line makes up a pun by using the name "Ernest" and the word "earnest". With this Jack (a main character) believes that he has realized the importance of being earnest/Ernest - because it is precisely this that he has not been since he pretended to be named Ernest. In addition, he believes that he has realized how important it is to be called Ernest, since this is why Gwendolen falls in love with him.
The successful premiere night of the play marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas was Wilde's lover, planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards their feud came to a climax in court, where Wilde's homosexual double life was revealed to the Victorian public and he was eventually sentenced to imprisonment. His notoriety caused the play, despite its early success, to be closed after 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no further comic or dramatic work (source: wikipedia).
This rare beauty of a poster is one of Wiinblad's early artworks. The craft of Wiinblad is often colorful, lush and full of humor. He was inspired by the sumptuous oriental style far from the Nordic stylish line. This artwork is differently true to his special line.
The views on his works are to this day very divided, but interest in his finer things are unrelenting - especially abroad (particularly the U.S., Japan, Germany and Norway). Bjørn Wiinblad's contemporaries were not exactly inclined to acknowledge his way to work, so his position as an artist has been a bit special.
Globally, Bjørn Wiinblad is one of the very best selling Danish artists. Many museums the world over have Wiinblad's work in their collections. He is (among other museums) represented at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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