Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Hooray for Hollywood

A friend of mine once sent me images from the materials provided at an exhibition of the art of Federico Beltrán Masses in London. Beltrán Masses and Rudolph Valentino were friends and in January of 1926, we find Rudolph aspiring to be an artist and studying painting with Federico. I have told their story in Affairs Valentino and previously on this blog. Here I share some of the images from the exhibition and thank my friend for their generosity. I have excerpted some of the narrative from the exhibition materials.

The program:

The most interesting image to me is the business or calling card given to Beltrán-Masses when he first met Rudy and Natacha. It is definitely Natacha's handwriting and a great artifact.

The other detail which deserves note are the gifts Rudolph gave to Federico when he left Los Angeles: an engraved silver pen and a little dog named “Hollywood”.

*Translation from the French inscription: "Here, Hollywood, the dog Valentino gave to me."

It is worth Googling the art of Federico Beltran-Masses to realize why there is no wonder Natacha and Rudy befriended this great artist.