Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956):
Study for Man the Master 1930-1934
Unframed (ref: 2970)
Oil on canvas
See all works by Frank Brangwyn oil big pictures murals TOP 100 work Master Designs Modern British Art at Mercers' Hall Murals catalogue Science, Technology and Industry Spectacular Rockefeller Murals
Provenance: E Kenneth Center; William de Belleroche (No 84); Gordon Anderson
Sansom & Co, 2013, pp.218-231
In 1932, Brangwyn was commissioned by J. D. Rockefeller Jr. (1874-1960) to produce four large murals for the RCA building, the centrepiece of the Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, New York. These are still in situ in the entrance hall, decorating the area of the south corridor elevator shafts, each measuring 17 x 25ft.
J. D. Rockefeller Jr. had originally approached Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and Henri Matisse (1869–1964), but both artists turned the commission down. Brangwyn, Josep Maria Sert i Badia (1874–1945) and Diego Rivera (1886–1957) were subsequently appointed to carry out the scheme. The three artists were briefed to work on canvas, (of which no more than 75% was to be covered), to paint en grisaille and to include some lettering in their designs. The broad subject matter of the murals was 'New Frontiers', encompassing aspects of a modern society, including science, labor, education, travel, finance and spirituality. Brangwyn was assigned four themes expressing man's search for eternal truth: Man Laboring; Man the Creator; Man the Master; Man’s Ultimate Destiny.