Knights of King Arthur Spectacular, Oil Painting on Canvas (1920s) P994

At Early California Antiques we have learned to read all the influences that came together in the last century to create that California style (so many in fact that it sometimes makes us dizzy: Spanish Colonial, Spanish Revival, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, China, Japan, Hollywood, the Wild West…), but there is one strain, readily apparent if you look for it, and found pretty much everywhere when you do look, and that is what we like to call Storybook. All over Los Angeles one starts to recognize in the heady mixture of styles among the older buildings a common origin, and that would be in the works of the golden age of of American children’s books’ illustration. These visions certainly influenced the look and feel of Hollywood movies from their inception, but it left its mark on architecture and furniture design directly. It was the yin to modernity’s yang.

So it is with great pleasure that we unveil this immense canvas, gorgeously painted, lovingly imagined, of this scene from the Arthurian legends. It’s a fantasy of course, but a not ignoble one, and, in a way, absolutely key to understanding an important side of the California character, idealist, fantastic, romantic, heroic, and sexy. The effect is only intensified by what we know of its other sides. Artist unknown, unsigned. With frame, piece measures 68″w x 53″h, image is 60″w x 44″h.