Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Temple Tuesday: Shirley on Canvas

In the 1935 Shirley Temple star vehicle, “Curly Top,” she plays (surprise!) an orphan who charms a wealthy millionaire (another surprise!) played by John Boles. After meeting her, he can’t get the little girl out of his mind. One night in his lavish living room (set photo shown above), Mr. Moneybags plays the piano (he also happens to write songs!) and then imagines the talented moppet in a quartet of famous paintings that just happen to be hanging on his walls. The first one we see is called The Age of Innocence (1785), by Sir Joshua Reynolds. As seen in the movie:

The publicity still that was shot:

…and the Daveland version that melds that actual painting with the publicity shot of Shirley:

The second painting we see is Thomas Gainsborough’s famous Blue Boy (1770):

The publicity version (notice Shirley’s shorter hair):

The publicity shot was doctored for this April 27, 1935 magazine cover:

Expertly fixed by Shirley Temple aficionado Rita Dubas:

The real Blue Boy, which I saw at the Huntington Gallery in Pasadena:

Mr. Moneybags as he admires his painting, Her Second Sermon by Sir J. E. Millais:

A screenshot from the movie:

The Fox Studio publicity machine let the public know all the work that went into bringing these famous works of art to life with the blurb that accompanied the publicity still below:

Here is shown Shirley Temple, five-year-old Fox Film star, posed for a photographic replica of Sir J. E. Millais’ famous painting, “Her Second Sermon.” Every detail of this noted child study was reproduced with extreme care by the motion picture studio artists and attaches. The garments and various accoutrements all were made to order and the deep red and other coloring duplicated exactly. Even the stockings and shoes were especially made to have them correct. The original of this painting hangs in the Guildhall, in London. Sir J. E. Millais, Bart., P. R. A., was born at Southhampton, England, but his family came from the Island of Jersey. “Her Second Sermon,” and its companion piece, “Her First Sermon,” both were executed in 1863. The subject for the original was the artist’s little daughter, Effie, and the scene is an old church at Kingston-on-Thames.

The Daveland version:

Mr. Moneybags and The Helping Hand (1881) by Émile Renouf:

For Shirley’s version of The Helping Hand, actor Siegfried Rumann posed alongside Shirley in the rowboat as seen in this screenshot:

The publicity shot:

The Daveland version:

Here’s a YouTube clip of the sequence for your enjoyment!

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

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