The Emperor's Nightingale. 1971-1972. 12x12.75. Engraving.

Based on the Chinese fairy tale, reinterpreted by Hans Christian Andersen, this print depicts an Emperor who enjoyed the song of a nightingale each evening but eventually ignored it for a bejewled mechanical one that he received as a gift. When the mechanical nightingale broke down, the emperor became deeply melancholy and yearned for the sound of his lost nocturnal visitor. When the emperor was near his death, the real nightingale came back to resore his spirit...and his life. The print was intended as a parable on materialism, with the didactic message not to worship the "false nightingale." Hence, not to spurn those wonders of nature which give true pleasure for the false, materialistic substitutes which are short-lived. The model is Albert DeOro who assisted the artist each step of the way in planning how his room should look. The old man carried the finished print, folded into quarters, in his overcoat pocket to show acquaintances and passersby. Signed and numbered in pencil. Edition of 100.

A study for the etching.

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