MastroNet Winter 2003
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 12/18/2003

Carl Barks was one of the most prolific Disney artists of all time. His development of Donald Duck and his creation of such characters as Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Gyro Gearloose, The Beagle Boys and Gladstone Gander expanded the duck universe for two generations of comic readers. In 1965, Barks retired and in 1971 began to create original oil paintings of his famous Disney characters. Prices began at a few hundred dollars and rose into the thousands. In 1976, Disney, in typical style, restrained Barks from producing these artworks privately despite the fact that he had filled their corporate coffers with millions of dollars and equally as many readers. In all, Barks had produced a total of only 122 Walt Disney oil paintings. The paintings have been documented as much as any artist that ever painted. There is a detailed list of Barks' paintings in The Comic Art Price Guide by Jerry Weist, (2000). In almost 600 pages of art and publication listings, Mr. Weist singled out only Carl Barks for such historical detail. Every painting is listed by production date, size, and Barks' personal identification number. Following the ignominious betrayal of Barks by the Disney Co., circumstances converged to renew the painting stage of the life of this creative genius. A company called Another Rainbow obtained a license to produce a series of products based on Disney characters and made the obvious choice to engage Barks to paint. It was decided to produce a series of lithographs of paintings by Barks. The first subject would set the tone and standard for all that would follow.  Barks had a special fondness for the cover of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #108 which he first created in 1949. The cover portrayed Donald and his nephews aboard a small sailboat. When he began his series of 122 unlicensed paintings, the first subject was based on that cover and entitled A Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By. Barks loved the subject so much that he painted seven different versions as commissions for early buyers of his immortal paintings. The brain trust at Another Rainbow had decided that the series of paintings on which they would base their series of lithographs should include Uncle Scrooge as well as Donald and the nephews. The first subject should also be vertical in orientation (less wall space). What more appropriate subject, then, could there be but the artist's favorite with the significant addition of Uncle Scrooge to the crew of Donald's famous tiny skiff. The final result was this fantastic original oil painting, newly titled Sailing the Spanish Main. It was the first independently licensed Barks painting to be offered solely as a lithograph. The magnificent 20" x 25" masterpiece is signed in the lower left corner "Carl Barks."  This painting was used to jump start one of the most startling success stories in comics history. The lithographs produced from this painting sold out in a flash. The subsequent subjects followed suit. The after market for these quality signed lithographs remains strong with examples of the first lithograph, produced from this painting having sold for over $10,000. Few, if any, Barks oil paintings ever change hands in a given year and even on the rare occasion that one becomes available, the subject is not always what a serious collector might wish. This example fills the bill on all counts: an exquisite rendering of a classic Barks image (in fact - his favorite), containing all major characters, in pristine condition with the added provenance of being the subject of the first of a classic series of desirable lithographs that have served to satisfy thousands of Barks collectors in their desire to own an item of significance produced by Barks. Superior specimens of Barks paintings have sold for as much as $200,000. None have embodied the personal and historical significance of this one. This writer met the childlike genius in 1978. Even then he had a twinkle in his eye that can only be found in those gifted few who are privileged to simultaneously reside in two alternate realities, one of which exists only in their own creative minds. Carl Barks died on August 25, 2000 at the age of 99. His creations, however, remain ageless and the "Good Duck Artist" has entered the panoply of immortal storytellers and painters. His lithographs allow us to peer enviously into his private world of fantasy and delight. This painting is the progenitor of the entire genre. Near Mint in a magnificent custom frame.

Sailing The Spanish Main Original Carl Barks Oil Painting
"Sailing The Spanish Main" Original Carl Barks Oil Painting
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Price Realized (Includes Buyers Premium): $93,666
Number of Bids: 0
Auction closed on: 12/18/2003