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Ryan's Daughter - Amsel's unused artwork

I bought another one of Amsel's original works about six months ago, and had been meaning to write about it ever since: Amsel's unused artwork for the film RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970).


I'd seen this artwork online for a number of years, and it's an interesting composition. My only real reservations are 1.) The awkward tree branch and leaves that form Sarah Miles' left eye, and 2.) The dominance of the color pink...especially when green should be more prominent! The movie is set in Ireland, after all...


But why carp? Every piece I acquire is a treasure to me, and runs circles around anything I could ever hope to do.



For those unfamiliar with the film -- a loose reinterpretation of MADAME BOVARY, set in Ireland in 1916 -- it was David Lean's follow up the massively successful DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. While RYAN'S DAUGHTER made money, and won two Oscars, it was widely considered a disappointment -- overlong, overblown, and with zero chemistry between young stars Sarah Miles and Christopher Jones.


Admittedly, I have to agree. Being both of Irish descent and a lifelong fan of David Lean, I've tried repeatedly to embrace the film...but after more than thirty years, never have I been able to sit through the whole damn thing in one sitting. And this is coming from someone who has watched ZHIVAGO, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA over and over and over again.


Bill I'm still thrilled to have the artwork in my home.


I've shared a number of photos here, illustrating how different the colors can look in different light. I also posted some pictures of the framing process. The original frame had fractured in a number of places, so there was no hesitation to replace it. But I also made the difficult decision of having the original canvas board cropped by a few inches around the periphery. The canvas board was frayed, and the fabric was peeling, but fortunately there was more than enough space to trim the edges without intruding on Amsel's painted illustration.


For the framing, I returned to my trusted (if wildly eccentric) friend, Nina Brey of Brey's Framing in Glendale, CA. I've been using her services for 20 years, and she never let me down.



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