Ralph BartonAmerican Artist, 1891-1931
American Artist, 1891-1931,1921 Vanity Fair caricature; use cursor to identify figuresBarton's first caricature was of Thomas Hart Benton; his last, of Charlie Chaplin. In between he knew everyone and drew everyone in the social and culture scene of New York. Some of his most famous works were group drawings, and perhaps the most noted was a stage curtain created for a 1922 revue, depicting an "audience" of 139 faces looking back at the real theater-goers. "The effect was electrifying, and the applause was great," said another caricaturist of the era, Aline Fruhauf. He also directed a short film, Camille, described by an IMDB contributor as a "home movie version" of the Dumas novel with a cast of his many actor, artist, and other celebrity friends.This movie was made available as a bonus in a 2003 release of Chaplin's A Woman of Paris. At the height of his popularity, Barton enjoyed not only the acquaintance of the famous, but a solid and impressive income. All of this concealed a terribly unhappy life. He was beset by manic-depressive disorder, and each of his four marriages ended in divorce. A self-portrait, painted around 1925 and modeled on an el Greco.