1 of 31 portraits of Merle Oberon
by Victor Weisz
ink, gouache and crayon, circa 1945
16 7/8 in. x 13 1/4 in. (428 mm x 336 mm) uneven
Given by executors of Elizabeth Weisz, 2003
Sitterback to top
- Merle Oberon (Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson) (1911-1979), Film actress. Sitter in 31 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Victor Weisz (1913-1966), 'Vicky'; cartoonist. Artist associated with 15 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Vicky had strong connections with films and the theatre. His first two wives, he had four, were actresses, and when he arrived in Britain some of his first commissioned work was for World Film News. Merle Oberon also had strong Hungarian links, as her first husband (1939) was the Hungarian film director Alexander Korda. Judging from the hairstyle and the early version of Vicky's signature this drawing dates from around the time of the Second World War, possibly depicting Oberon as George Sand in A Song to Remember (1945), the film of Chopin's life, directed by the Hungarian Charles Vidor, with Cornel Wilde, himself three-quarters Hungarian, as Chopin.
Events of 1945back to top
Current affairsDespite Churchill's popularity during, and indeed after, the War, Clement Attlee wins a landslide Labour victory in the general election. Labour's success was due to its promise of a better society through the Welfare state, and was demonstrative of the public's desire for a new and better post-War society.
Art and scienceNoel Coward's Brief Encounter is released. The film, based on Coward's play, Still Life, is about the love affair between two married people who meet at a railway station. Conscious of the risk of being caught the couple decide to break off their relationship to protect their marriages.
George Orwell publishes his satirical novel Animal Farm, as an allegorical critique of Soviet Totalitarianism.
InternationalA war on two fronts finally proves too much for Germany as allied forces push from the East and West. On the 30th April Hitler committed suicide and Germany soon surrendered to Soviet troops. Victory in Europe was announced on the 8th May. War in the Pacific continued until America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 214,000 people, and ending the war with Japan.
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