Thomas Hart Benton Poker Night

Thomas Hart Benton Poker Night
Thomas Hart Benton Poker Night
Anonim

Thomas Hart Benton in the middle of the 20th century was the best representative of a curious style in United States. A peculiar regionalist painting in which he captured the most prototypical landscapes and scenes of the culture of the United States, as we saw in his Mural Number 2. It is a type of image full of color, anecdotes, pride and also with some humor, for which he was not lacking in commissions throughout his life. And one of those most curious commissions is this one in which the world of painting is mixed with that of cinema and theater.

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Thomas Hart Benton Poker Night

The order was made by the powerfulDavid Selznick, to give it to his wife Irene. Which in turn had produced a play that since its premiere at the end of 1947 had a total success. The play was none other than A Streetcar Named Desire written by playwright Tennessee Williams. A performance directed by Elia Kazan and starring a stunning young actor named Marlon Brando.

The fact was that the gift consisted of commissioning the painter to capture on a canvas the scene that most motivated him from the work. And he chose the poker game where practically all the characters in the play appear. BothStanley Kowalski, identified byBrando'stank top, and his buddies who are playing cards anddrinking. While in the other half of the canvas are the two women, Stella and Blanche, the two sisters who have gone into the bedroom, only separated from the living room by a curtain.

It is one of the most mythical scenes in the play, and Benton captured the whole essence of the characters, from Stanley's brutality to the erotic charge that radiatesBlanche DuBois. By the way, this painting amazedIrene Selznickwhen she gave it to her husband and she decided to display it in the lobby of the theater for the entire time the play was on the billboard. Today, the painting hangs in the Whitney Museum in New York City. While the theatrical text is a classic of 20th century literature, just as the film that followed is one of the most emblematic productions of the old Hollywood. A production with the same director and with practically the same cast of actors, among whom, in addition to Brando, stood out Vivien Leigh playing the sensual and variable Blanche, a role for which she would receive the Oscar for Best Leading Actress.

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