A Special Lithographic Suite of Preliminary Paintings by Carl Barks
For years Carl Barks fans asked whether the preliminary paintings the Old Duck Man has done as concepts for lithographs - both those that were then completed and those that were abandoned - would ever be published, and, if so, in what form? The answer came from Another Rainbow in 1986 with a full suite of ten original miniature oils in a traditional four-color set of prints, using fine paper and superior lithographic screened-process printing. Each individual print - all suitable for framing - is initialed by Barks. Each print in each set is identically hand numbered. The total edition consists of 500 sets and has a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Carl Barks, that will guarantee that there will never be any more editions.
(Set I is SOLD OUT but we have a few set II editions for $595 - click on link at top right of screen)
The paintings reproduced in this suite are thought to have been done in the following chronological order:
1. An Embarrassment of Riches: This is one of eight miniature paintings either conceived by Carl Barks in his experiments to design a vertical or horizontal money bin, all of which appear in The Carl Barks Library, Set III, Vol. 1, pp, 61-64. This is one of the final two preliminaries and closely resembles the finished oil, Another Rainbow's second lithograph in a series.
2. Among His Souvenirs: One of two similar idea sketches, both were rejected because of their similarity to the pose of Uncle Scrooge in the previous oil, An Embarrassment of Riches .
3. Till Death Do Us Part: The Scrooge concept chosen for the company's third lithograph.
4. Prosperity Posed for Posterity: An alternate unused Scrooge portrait that was seriously considered for the company's third lithograph.
5. "A 1934 Belchfire Runabout!": The Duck Man's commemorative to Donald Duck's 50th birthday, Barks noted on the back of the original painting that this was an "early concept" of an idea, adding that "at this point only the ducks and Daisy and Pluto were believed permissible to use. Other Disney characters were added later.”
6. "Which Disney Themepark Is This?": Barks' memorable Terries and Fermies, the earthquake makers, are shown in an underground cavern. This square-format idea is one of three sketched but never used for the cover of a book on Disneyana collectibles. The theme was later converted into a different setting to become our fifth lithograph, In Uncle Walt's Collectery.
7. Return to Morgan's Island: According to Barks, this was a concept that "came easily.” Scrooge returns with Donald and the nephews to the site of buried pirate treasures and the pointing Skeleton Tree, a scene visited by the Ducks in the 1942 classic comic book, “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold.”
8. Afoul of the Flying Dutchman: Based on a famous legend and on one of his own comic book stories, the subject of this preliminary had been treated before in two oil paintings (see color Plates 21, 22 and 117 in The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks) and also became a finished lithograph and a slipcase cartoon cover for a set of The Carl Barks Library.
9. Dam Disaster at Money Lake: Another unique idea, this preliminary was based on a focal scene from the first issue of the 1952 Uncle Scrooge comic book and was finished as a lithograph and was sold as a pair with a reprint of the comic to tell the "Story Behind the Painting.”
10. Dubious Doings at Dismal Downs: Carefully rendered for Another Rainbow's ninth and fast-selling litho, this preliminary concept is very close to the finished oil, capturing a moment from the Donald Duck comic story "The Old Castle's Secret.”