Collections

>   Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald
Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald
24'' x 19.5''
Oil on canvas
1968

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald encapsulates Beauford Delaney’s range of artistic styles, marrying gestural abstract mark making with portraiture. His figurative works, which included portraits of other notable artists of the time such as Duke Ellington and Marian Anderson, turned ever more abstract and into complete non-representation after Delany moved from New York to Paris in the early 1950s. He would remain in Paris for the rest of his life. This portrait parallels this stylistic shift as the characteristics of Ms. Fitzgerald’s face subtly emerge from, or disappear into, the expansive field of color and texture around her. Delaney used color in expressive and symbolic ways, with yellow being a common hue used to reference illumination and healing.