For this first update of the year 2022, we are going to travel a bit.
We will first go to Japan in 1911 or 1912.
Then we will go to Cambodia, to Angkor Wat in the early 1930s.
We will also visit the China of Princess Der Ling with a book published in 1932.
And we will finish our trip in California in Hollywood in 1926!
An original work (not a print, but a pencil and paint sketch) of a temple entrance. This drawing dates from 1911-1912 when Bertha returned to live in Tokyo for the third time.
I am also posting a character from the Noh theatre: Shōjō. Not a print either but again a unique copy. Over time, I have developed a culture of Noh theatre and so I recognised Shōjō. While searching for information about this character, I was surprised to discover that Bertha had once again adapted an existing print to her style. The work is therefore put online in two albums: the original works but also in the comparisons.
The work is dated in 1933, it is a black and white photograph of three large decoratives panels.
Bertha depicted a well-known bas-relief from Angkor: The Churning of the Milk Ocean. The demons pull on the snake Vassuki to turn Mount Vandara to their side, the gods do the same with theirs.
The work was already shown on the site: it is in the middle of the photo illustrating the site’s gallery.
Here it is today, still in black and white, but in much better quality.
A simple “rule of three” allowed me to find the approximate dimensions of the triptych since I know the dimensions of other paintings on display.
The work is in the Miscellaneous works section.
Golden Phoenix is finally online. I had scanned this book in 2004! I had immediately renamed the images but without keeping track of the order of the book. As the book was left in a box in another country, I had not been able to put it online until now. Once I found the book I was able to put the illustrations in order. The stories of Princess Der Ling are very pleasant to read. I recommend this book.
The United States:
We end our journey in California in the years 1926-1927. Bertha Lum lived with her daughter Peter in Hollywood, she was Rudolph Valentino’s neighbour. Peter explains in her book My Own Pair of Wings that she only discovered it after the actor’s death. Nevertheless, Bertha painted many portraits of actors and actresses in costume. These paintings were for a time exhibited in the lobby of the Carthay Circle Theater before being exhibited at the Institute of Fine Art in Beijing in November 1927.
Here are some black and white photos taken at that time. You can find these portraits again in the Original Works section.
I have also uploaded newspaper articles about these portraits in the Bibliography section.