With her green feline eyes, "Nita Naldi," Ziegfeld Follies performer and star of the silent screen, once set the heart of Rudolph Valentino on fire. In this portrait, the actress also seems to bring life to a stone statue of Pan. This piece was originally painted from life in 1923 and appeared somewhat modified (with her breast covered in lace) in Shadowland Magazine that same year. This was the first in a series of portraits of the day's "Motion Picture Stars" by Alberto that were featured in this publication.
SFAE sold the original painting at one of the first exhibitions of Vargas' work. That sale achieved the highest price ever paid for an original Vargas painting, and it remains one of the most coveted and valuable paintings in the entire Vargas archive.
In 1980 Vargas was invited to produce a series of limited edition lithographs of a number of his early paintings. Agreegment was reached and he chose five of his favorite Ziegfeld period beauties to be published.
A total of 1,000 prints were authorized, 500 designated for domestic distribution and 500 for international release. They are offset lithographs on BFK Rives fine-art paper. None of these were signed by Vargas, rather they were signed by an authorized representative as a "Proxy Signature".
After the main edition was finalized, the publishers approached Vargas to personally hand-sign 50 additional prints designated as Artist Proofs. He agreed and thus he created the only limited edition "Artist Signed" prints by Alberto Vargas. The painting's signature, seen in the lower left area of the artwork, is also reproduced in the print.
We have a small inventory of proxy-signed pieces. Use the CHOOSE A SIZE and CHOOSE A VERSION buttons below to purchase (select "Proxy Signed").
We may also have a signed version in stock. Please contact us for availability and pricing on these pieces.