Francis Cugat’s Celestial Eyes

When my money transfer goes through from Prince Akawakapooka of Nigeria, who was kind enough to share half of his $95-million fortune with me because of my, as he put it, “whiteness”, I will finally be able to construct Ink Manor, complete with an ornate library and gallery which will be laden with literary and cinematic artifacts.

Until then, the wall of my bedroom will have to suffice.

The first addition to my “gallery” is the artwork of one of the most famous and recognizable book covers – The Great Gatsby. For those of you who have been around long enough, it is no secret that I am a fan of the novel and of Fitzgerald, and here I am continuing the trend.

The artwork, whose official name is “Celestial Eyes”, was done by Francis Cugat, a Spanish immigrant of whom little else is known – an intriguing thought considering the famous piece.

Another interesting tidbit is found at the bottom of the poster, which reads: We are saving royalties in the event that Francis Cugat or his copyright holder come forward. Which may suggest that Cugat has no surviving family, and explain why the poster was only available in England.

And if Francis Cugat comes forward, I’d aim for his head because he’s a 118-year old zombie.

Check out Part Deux of Celestial Eyes.

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4 thoughts on “Francis Cugat’s Celestial Eyes

  1. Andrew D

    Where did you get the poster from? I love the cover and the painting. Two of Cugat’s other paintings have sold for the low four figures in the last decade….the painting of this would probably go for upwards of half a million, if the Princeton Library was to sell it. (Yeah, right.)

    Francis Cugat was the brother of bandleader Xavier Cugat.

    1. G.P. Merwede Post author

      I scoured the internet and the only place I found it was in England. It doesn’t quite fit into a 24X36 frame, but it’s a must-have for any fan of Fitzgerald – especially considering that it’s so difficult to find.

      If you take a gander (if you didn’t already) at Part Deux of my write-up, there is much more about Cugat and his progression of creating the painting.

  2. Kim

    Where in England–what site? I would really like to order it, and even Princeton (which has the original) doesn’t seem to have it available in poster form. I would like a copy of the original painting, but I will take a copy of the original book cover (with text) if that’s all that’s available. Thanks!


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