Dietz Edzard was a German painter and graphic artist who found inspiration in Paris, moving there in 1928. There, he found favour with a number of collectors, as well as the famed art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, whose support aided Dietz’s artistic career considerably, with his paintings proving particularly popular in America and Canada. His post-Impressionist style of painting is typically characterised by soft, opalescent colours and a warm, glowing light, as seen in the present work. Here, Vivien is depicted in The Mask of Virtue, her first theatre role of real significance, which opened on 16th May 1935. Despite playing only a supporting role, Vivien made such an impression upon the audience of industry grandees and critics that when the reviews were published the following day they spoke almost exclusively of this new young, talented and beautiful actress. A film contract with Alexander Korda and the offer of numerous leading roles soon followed.
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