During the eight year run of Bewitched, many well-known works of art were featured on the walls of 1164 Morning Glory Circle. The show's set decorators frequently added new pieces to Samantha and Darrin's collection, usually after a set was "freshened up" and given a new look. However, a few paintings seemed to move around at will, leading the show's viewers on a merry chase as they appeared, disappeared and then reappeared in certain rooms without explanation. Given the show's magical premise, perhaps it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Samantha's art collection was indeed "enchanted".
Perhaps the most well-known painting associated with Bewitched is "A Girl with a Broom", more commonly (and incorrectly) referred to as "Girl with Broom". This painting appeared prominently in Samantha and Darrin's front entryway during season three, rarely moving from this spot for the rest of the series' run. On the few occasions that it was moved, a mirror was usually put in its place for Endora or Uncle Arthur to appear in so they could taunt Darrin from behind the glass. One very common and oft-reported misconception about "A Girl with a Broom" is that it was painted by 15th Century Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn (1606-1669). This, however, is most likely incorrect. It is now believed by many art historians that "A Girl with a Broom" was actually painted by a student of Rembrandt's, Dutch artist Carel Fabritius (1622-1654). The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (where "A Girl with a Broom" now resides) credits the painting to the "Rembrandt Workshop (Possibly Carel Fabritius)" in its archives, based on the fact that the painting is signed in the lower left corner "Rembrandt f. 1651". The "F" is now believed to stand for "Fabritius".
In order to explain this further, as well as the way the Rembrandt workshop functioned, here is a quote from a press release issued in 2003 by the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI:
From Robert Hughes, "The God of Realism", The New York Review of Books, vol. 53, no. 6, 2006:
Carel Fabritius and his brother Barent were both students of Rembrandt's during the 1640's, and Carel is often referred to as "Rembrandt's most gifted pupil" due to his mastery of his teacher's technique and his subsequent ability to develop his own unique style. The main difference between the paintings of Rembrandt and Fabritius is that Carel preferred lighter backgrounds and a softer brushstroke, setting his later paintings apart from Rembrandt's, which were darker and more heavily rendered. Carel died tragically at the age of 32 when an explosion at a gun powder store destroyed a large section of the city of Delft in the Netherlands on October 12th, 1654. His studio and most of his paintings were also lost in the explosion, and only twelve of his known paintings survive today.
The second work of art most frequently viewed on Bewitched is a painting entitled "The Old Checkered House", painted in 1944 by Grandma Moses.
This painting first appeared on the Bewitched set during 1966 in the opening episode of season three, # 75, "Nobody's Perfect", where it can be briefly viewed over Samantha and Darrin's bed.
In the following episode, # 76, "The Moment of Truth", both "The Old Checkered House" and "A Girl with a Broom" made their debuts on Bewitched in the spots they would occupy for most of the show's run.
"The Old Checkered House" holds an unusual distinction
in # 76, "The Moment of Truth",
however, as what appears to be duplicate copies of the painting in two
different frames and sizes are shown hanging in the Stephen's home.
A smaller version of "The Old Checkered House" can first be
spotted hanging in the dining room in the opening scene, and then a
larger version of the painting can be viewed in the living room hanging
over the fireplace later on in the same episode. In the scene where
Larry Tate goes into the kitchen to open a champagne bottle, both the
small and large versions of the painting can be viewed in the background,
with no explanation given for Samantha and Darrin's apparent preference
for "duplicate decor". The smaller version of the painting
occasionally re-appeared in Samantha and Darrin's bedroom during subsequent
episodes, and also popped up in Sam and Darrin's Hawthorne Hotel room
during the Salem episodes in season eight.
During seasons one and two of Bewitched, a painting
entitled "The Old Guitar Player" by Pablo Picasso hung over
the Stephen's living room fireplace. This work of art was painted by
Picasso in both Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain during 1903-1904
and was originally entitled "Vieux Guitariste Aveugle", which
translates from French into "Old Blind Guitarist". The painting
is also known by the name "The Old Guitarist". This period
of Picasso's career is known as his "Blue Period" (1901-1904),
typified by the somber, blue-toned paintings he created which reflected
his mood during this era. It has also been speculated that Picasso was
so poor during this time that all he could afford was blue paint. The
paintings from Picasso's "Blue Period" usually depict beggars,
prostitutes, harlequins, acrobats and artists, most of whom are shabbily
dressed and/or appear to be introspective or unhappy. After struggling
as an artist in Paris, Picasso became even more depressed by the 1901
suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas and the death of his father.
Dejected, he returned to Madrid in 1904 after receiving 200 francs for
the train fare from a wealthy patron, Madame Besnard, in exchange for
his painting "Mere et fils sur le Rivage". Picasso had a very
difficult time selling his paintings during these years, but modern
art aficionados now consider his works from The Blue Period among his
most sought after. "The Old Guitar Player" is believed by
many to be Picasso's most well-known work from this period. The painting
currently resides in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago.
American poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) was inspired to write the following lines after viewing "The Old Guitar Player" in his poem “The Man With the Blue Guitar”:
Picasso created "The Old Guitar Player" with the desire that it be displayed vertically, but the Bewitched set decorator hung it over the fireplace horizontally, which was clearly in opposition to the artist's intentions.
One can only assume that this was purely an aesthetic preference based on the position of the fireplace, and it can indeed be argued that the painting did look somewhat more "conventional" (in generalized modern decorating terms) hung in this manner. But, as with everything relating to Picasso, the word "conventional" was not part of his vocabulary and is perhaps best avoided when approaching his work from any perspective. In order to explain the unusual hanging of "The Old Guitar Player" on Bewitched, producer Danny Arnold answered a November, 1964 Los Angeles Times television article question by explaining that: "the set wall was not high enough to hang the picture properly, so it was hung on its side".
Pablo Ruiz Y Picasso was born on October 25th, 1881 in Malaga, Spain and is one of the most celebrated and recognized artists of the 20th century. He is credited, along with fellow artist Georges Braque (1882-1963), with creating "Cubism", an avant-garde style of sculpture and painting more commonly referred to as "modern" or "abstract" art. During his lifetime, Picasso produced approximately 13,500 paintings and thousands of additional drawings. He also dabbled in sculpture, though to a far lesser degree. Picasso spent most of his life in France where he lived a very hedonistic existence, indulging in countless amorous exploits with his two wives and various mistresses and subsequently fathering four children. His daughter Paloma Picasso (born in 1949) is well-known today as a fashion, fragrance and jewelery designer. Picasso died on April 8th, 1973 in Mougins, France at the age of 91, and his legacy of work continues to command some of the highest prices ever attained in the history of art. His painting "Garcon a la Pipe" sold for $104 million dollars at a Sotheby's auction held on May 4th, 2004, the highest price ever paid for a work of art to date.
Another well-known work of art in the 1164 collection was a painting entitled "Jeanne Hebuterne II" by Amedeo Modigliani. This painting hung on the wall near the Stephens' living room window, more commonly referred to by Bewitched fans as "Aunt Clara's corner".
The painting depicts the elongated face of a woman rendered in a rather primitive style, displaying Modigliani's fondness for African and Cambodian art. The painting is actually a portrait of Modigliani's common-law wife, the French artist Jeanne Hebuterne (1898-1920), and has a rather tragic history connected to it. When Amedeo Modigliani died on January 24, 1920 from tubercular meningitis complicated by alcoholism and an addiction to hashish, Jeanne Hébuterne, almost nine months pregnant, fell into a deep depression. She committed suicide two days later by throwing herself out of a fifth storey window, killing not only herself but also her unborn child. Jeanne's family blamed Modigliani for her death and buried her in another cemetery, refusing to move her remains next to Modigliani's at Paris' Pere Lachaise Cemetery until ten years later. Amedeo and Jeanne's 15 month old orphaned daughter, Jeanne Modigliani (1918-1984), was raised by relatives in Italy and knew very little about her parents until her adult years, later writing the 1958 biography "Modigliani: Man and Myth".
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was born to a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy on July 12th, 1884. He contracted tuberculosis at the age of 14 and also struggled with an inherited depressive disorder for the rest of his life. He began painting and sculpting in Italy before moving to Paris, France in 1906, where his bohemian exploits became legendary and he frequently cavorted in the nude at parties and public gatherings. His earliest artistic influences were the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Cezanne, but he eventually perfected his own distinct style which set him apart from other artists of this era. His first one-man art exhibit was held at the Berthe Weill Gallery in Paris in 1917, but quickly closed when Paris' chief of police became offended by Modigliani's graphic nudes. After many romantic misadventures, Modigliani met the love of his life, the great beauty Jeanne Hébuterne, in 1917, with whom he had a daughter the following year. Modigliani died penniless and relatively unknown in 1920 at the age of 35, but his surviving works of art are now considered masterpieces and reside in museums and private collections throughout the world.
The paintings in Darrin's study contained a large collection of nautical art with a small selection of equestrian art mixed in. The stand-out painting in Darrin's collection is a large painting entitled "Glory of the Seas" (artist unknown) which was usually hung on the wall behind the sofa. This painting depicts the last great tall ship made by the prolific Canadian-American ship builder and designer, Donald McKay (1810-1880). The Glory of the Seas was launched in Boston on October 21st, 1869 and proudly sailed the seven seas until it was scrapped and burned off the coast of Seattle on May 13th, 1923. During its long career, the Glory of the Seas survived numerous accidents and disasters, most notably the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The ship's figurehead is preserved at the India House in New York, and the designer's half model resides at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA. Numerous copies of the original painting of the Glory of the Seas have been produced over the years, and contemporary American artist Richard C. Moore currently sells a fine rendition through his website: http://www.ship-paintings.com/age_of_sail.htm
Tabitha's bedroom also featured some interesting works of art, most notably a painting of Walt Disney's Bambi and Thumper which appeared above Tabitha's dresser during season three. The character of Bambi was created by Austrian author Felix Salten in his 1923 book "Bambi, A Life in the Woods", and later popularized in the 1942 animated movie produced by Walt Disney (1901-1966). "Bambi" was the fifth of Walt Disney's animated films as well as his favorite, and the movie is now regarded as a beloved classic by audiences around the world.
In addition to Bambi, Tabitha's art collection also featured a pair of "kitschy" big-eyed paintings of children, popularized during the 1960's by American artists Margaret and Walter Keane and copied by various other pop artists of the era (Maio, Franco, Eden, Gig, Lee, Igor and Eve are some of the other artists associated with this style of art). Though popular in their day and mass-marketed with tremendous success, "big-eyed" paintings fell out of favor during the 1970's and 1980's when they were commonly branded as "ugly", "creepy" and "bizarre". However, the paintings experienced a resurgence in popularity during the mid-1990's, and vintage pieces are now highly sought after by collectors.
Although they weren't seen very often, there are a few other memorable pieces of art featured on Bewitched which should also be examined. In the upstairs hallway of 1164 hung a painting entitled "The Polish Rider". This painting, like "A Girl with a Broom", has been attributed to the "Dutch Master" Rembrandt (1606-1669), but this has been challenged by the Rembrandt Research Project, who instead believe it was painted by a student of Rembrandt's named Willem Drost (1633-1659). From Wikipedia:
The painting has yet to be officially attributed to Willem Drost, however, and investigations into the matter continue. From The Web Gallery of Art:
In 1910, "The Polish Rider" was sold as a work by Rembrandt to American steel magnate Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) for the then enormous sum of 60,000 UK Pounds. The painting still resides in the Fricke collection in New York City, where it is considered one of the museum's greatest assets.
During the first seasons of Bewitched, a painting entitled "Dancers at Rest" hung over Samantha and Darrin's fireplace in the master bedroom. This work of art was painted by Moses Soyer (1899-1974) during the 1930's.
Born in Czarist Russia on December 25th, 1899, Moses Soyer was one of three artistic brothers (including his twin brother Raphael and another brother named Isaac) born to a Hebrew scholar. The Soyers were expelled from Russia by the Czarists and moved to America in 1912, settling in New York City where Moses began his art training in 1916. After traveling throughout Europe during the 1920's, Moses returned to New York where he began a career as an art instructor at various schools. He didn't pursue art as an occupation until he became unemployed during the Great Depression, at which point he began painting and selling his works as a way to survive. He occasionally collaborated with his twin brother Raphael on large projects like murals, but he most often preferred to work alone. He eschewed landscapes for portraits and figure studies, and his works are considered to be excellent examples of Social Realism. Soyer was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1963, and to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1966. His paintings are displayed in many museums and private collections, and they still attain high prices today on the collector's market. Moses Soyer passed away in 1974.
No Bewitched art report would be complete without a glimpse at the Mona Lisa, memorably featured on the show when Elizabeth Montgomey was immortalized as the "Mona Sammy" during season six.
The original Mona Lisa, also known as "La Jaconde" and "La Gioconda" was painted in Italy between 1503 and 1506 by Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is famous for its subject's "enigmatic smile", and is the best known example of Renaissance portraiture in existence. The model for the "Mona Lisa" was a woman named Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a wealthy Florentine businessman named Francesco del Giocondo, and da Vinci loved the portrait so much that he kept it in his private collection until he sold it to King Francois I of France in 1516. It was first displayed in the Royal Chateau of Fontainebleau and then the Palace of Versailles until after the French Revolution (1789–1799), when it was moved to the Louvre. Napoleon I (1769-1821) then commandeered the painting and displayed it in his bedroom at Tuileries Palace until it was returned to the Louvre after his death. After being hidden somewhere in France during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), the painting was again returned to the Louvre, where it remained on display until it was stolen on August 21st, 1911 by Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia, who absconded with the painting by hiding in a broom closet and later exiting with the masterpiece hidden under his coat after the museum had closed for the day. A con-man named Eduardo de Valfierno planned the theft with the intention of commissioning a French art forger named Yves Chaudron to paint copies so he could fraudulently sell them on the underground art market as the original "Mona Lisa". This plan failed, however, and Peruggia hid the "Mona Lisa" in his apartment for two years, evading capture until he tried to sell the painting to a Florentine art dealer in 1913. After being returned to the Louvre, the painting has remained on public display except for brief periods when it was hidden by the French government during World War II and then loaned to the United States in 1962 and Japan in 1974. In 1956, the painting was twice damaged, first by being doused with acid and again when a rock was thrown at it. Because of these incidents, the Louvre protected the painting behind bullet proof glass for many years. In 2005, the Louvre moved the "Mona Lisa" to a specially built climate-controlled enclosure in the museum, again behind bullet proof glass. Though considered priceless by many, the "Mona Lisa" is insured for approximately $645 million dollars, a record for a work of art.
Leonardo da Vinci was a true "Renaissance man", gifted in the fields of art, science, mathematics, design, anatomy, engineering, geometry, architecture and music. Born in Italy in 1452 to a wealthy Florentine family, Leonardo was sent to the very best schools where he excelled in every field of education. His forward thinking and inquisitive mind led to many innovative ideas and inventions, and da Vinci is credited with attempting to develop the first flying machine in 1496. Many of his theories and ideas would be implemented into modern life centuries after his death, and he is lauded as a genius and one of the greatest painters in history to this very day. Preferring the company of gentlemen, da Vinci never married and he passed away at the age of 67 in 1519.
During the last season of Bewitched, Samantha and Darrin traveled to Europe where they encountered Samantha's father, Maurice, in episode # 234, "Paris, Witches Style". With his usual style and flair, Maurice is depicted in a Cubist-style portrait by "Picasso" complete with tophat, cape and cane. The painting, of course, wasn't actually painted by the great Picasso, but the artist hired by the show's producers did an excellent job mimicking Picasso's signature avant-garde style. Picasso is also mentioned in the script for this episode when "Robot Darrin" says, "I ordered a halo, but Pablo must have forgotten".
This episode aired on October 20th, 1971 and "The Picasso Maurice" compares quite favorably to other Picasso works from the same year. It's of interest to note that this episode aired four days before Picasso's 90th birthday on October 25th, 1971, which was celebrated at the Louvre in Paris with a large exhibition of his paintings. Picasso declined to attend, preferring to remain in seclusion at his home where he continued to draw and paint on an almost daily basis. Pablo Picasso died two years later in 1973.
During the late 1960's, the Bewitched set decorators added another Rembrandt work to Samantha and Darrin's home. The painting, known by the titles "Girl at Half-Open Door" and "Young Girl at Open Half Door", is one that is not in dispute by the Rembrandt Research Project, giving the painting the distinction of being the only verifiable Rembrandt work in the entire 1164 collection. This painting was created by Rembrandt in 1645 and depicts a young Dutch noblewoman in a classic pose. Special thanks to Jean Yannes (MacDodo) and Wizzy for their help in identifying this painting on the Harpies Bizarre message board.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in The Netherlands on July 15, 1606 and was educated at the University of Leiden. He moved to Amsterdam in 1631 where he became a successful portrait painter and art instructor. Rembrandt married his art dealer's great-niece, Saskia van Uylenburgh, in 1634 and fathered three children, two of whom died in infancy. His wife tragically passed away in 1642 after giving birth to their only surviving son, Titus, and Rembrandt never re-married. He did, however, fall in love again, this time with his much younger maidservant, Hendrickje Stoffels, with whom he had a daughter, Cornelia, in 1654. This relationship was quite controversial, and Hendrickje was chastized by the Dutch Reformed Church for "living in sin". After years of collecting art and living beyond his means, Rembrandt was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1656. He sold most of his paintings and moved to a smaller house in Rozengracht, where Hendrickje and his son Titus set up an art shop. Following the deaths of Hendrickje and Titus, Rembrandt passed away on October 4th, 1669 in Amsterdam. It was believed for centuries that Rembrandt painted almost 700 works, but the Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands now states that the actual number of paintings which can be officially attributed to Rembrandt is around 300. Rembrandt also created an additional 300 etchings and 1,400 drawings, many of which are on display in museums and private collections around the world.
In the # 198, "Mona, Sammy" episode during season six, the plot called for Louise Tate, played by the beautiful Kasey Rogers, to be immortalized on canvas by Darrin, with a little "help" from Endora. Much hilarity ensued when the Tates became offended by the completed painting, known as "The Goofy Louise" due to the cross-eyed, learing grin featured on the portrait. Two paintings of Kasey Rogers were commissioned by the producers of Bewitched for this episode, and both were painted by a studio artist from a set of Polaroid photos taken of Kasey specifically for this purpose.
One portrait depicted "Lovely Louise", the other the infamous "Goofy Louise", and both show Miss Rogers clad in a stunning green gown. After the episode was completed, Kasey Rogers was given both paintings, which she proudly displayed in her Los Angeles home for many years. Special thanks to Miss Rogers' dear companion Mark Wood for so generously contributing the photo of Kasey with the paintings to Harpies Bizarre.
During seasons one and two of Bewitched, yet another Picasso adorned the walls of 1164. This painting was entitled "Étude pour Les Bateleurs: Jeune fille avec chien" ("Study for the Jugglers: Girl with Dog"), and it hung near the front door in Samantha and Darrin's living room. Painted in Paris in 1905, this work of art is a companion piece to Picasso's other 1905 painting "Garçon avec chien" ("Boy with Dog"), which currently resides in the collection of The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia.
"Study for the Jugglers: Girl with Dog" was crafted by Picasso using pastel and gouache on paper, and the original resided for a time in the collection of American film producer/studio executive William Goetz (1903-1969) and his wife in Los Angeles, California. Following Mrs. Goetz death, their art collection was sold at auction in 1987 and the current whereabouts of "Study for the Jugglers: Girl with Dog" is unknown. Special thanks to samlove and Flapdoodle for helping to identify this painting.
In episode # 118, "Allergic to Macedonian Dodo Birds", Endora displays a fingerpainting created by Tabitha and proclaims it to be "an original Van Gogh landscape". The painting used in this scene was, in fact, a work by Van Gogh entitled "Landscape with Trees and Figures" which the great Dutch master painted during his stay at a mental hospital in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France during November of 1889. The painting currently resides in the collection of The Baltimore Museum of Art.
Vincent Van Gogh was born in The Netherlands on March 30th, 1853 in a town called Zundert. By the age of fifteen he'd already left school and was working as an art dealer in The Hague. He then embarked on a brief period of religious training at a Protestant missionary school, after which he intended to become a minister of the Dutch reformed church like his father. This plan, however, failed miserably when the first signs of Vincent's life-long battle with mental illness began to appear. In 1880 he took up painting at the suggestion of his brother, creating some of the world's finest works of art during a prolific but brief ten year period. His emotional problems became quite pronounced during this time, exacerbated by a bout with gonorrhoea, Vincent's fondness for absinthe, a problematic romantic life, and possible lead poisoning from the paints that he used. On December 23rd, 1888, Vincent's emotional imbalances caused him to cut off the lower part of his left ear which he then wrapped in newspaper and gave to a prostitute, advising her to "keep this object carefully." Vincent spent the next two years in and out of various hospitals, volleying between periods of lucidity followed by hallucinations and paranoia. He continued to paint throughout this period and was hailed as a genius by French art critic Albert Aurier in the literary magazine "Mercure de France", but his life was already drawing to a close. After painting seventy oil paintings in seventy days, Vincent fell into a deep depression and walked into a field on July 27th, 1890 and shot himself in the chest. Apparently not realizing what he had done or even that he was fatally wounded, he walked back to an Inn in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris where he died in his bed at the age of 37 two days later. His last recorded words were "La tristesse durera toujours" ("the sadness will last forever"). In the years following his death, Van Gogh's works have become greatly prized and are held in high regard as masterpieces of post-impressionism. His paintings command very high prices on the art market, with his most well-known painting "Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers" selling for $39,921,750 at a March 1987 Christie's auction in London. Special thanks to Wizzy for recognizing and confirming Tabitha's painting as being this Van Gogh landscape.