Sunday, April 7, 2019

"The Oz Parade"

One of the highlights of this collection is this extraordinary Oz painting by John R. Neill. Wonderfully impressionistic, the painting shows a parade of all the main Oz characters: Jack Pumpkinhead, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow. Tik-Tok, Glinda the Good riding the Hungry Tiger, Ozma and Dorothy riding the Cowardly Lion, with the Patchwork Girl and the Wizard of Oz himself bringing up the rear!

"The Oz Parade" (1936) watercolor by John R. Neill $8000.00

John R. Neill (American) 1877-1943
Watercolor, gouache, and metallic silver ink on paper, unsigned
Image size: 6" x 9.5"
Paper size: 11.25" x 14.5

This painting is one of the final color studies for a large-scale commission Neill did for the Lufkin family in the summer of 1936. There are at least six studies known to survive with this being one of the more finished. This magical Oz painting is on thick paper done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil, and is further enhanced with metallic silver ink on the Tin Woodman and on the border. It's rather reminiscent of Neill's use of metallic ink in the early printings of The Emerald City of Oz (1910).

Note the silver metallic ink highlighting the Tin Woodman.

The painting is very loose, feeling almost effortless, yet captures the personality of each character with a minimum of line. Look at Tik-Tok's face as he gazes up at Glinda, and the resigned dignity of the Hungry Tiger and his wonderful purple stripes!

Detail from "The Oz Parade" (1936) by John R. Neill.

Neill experimented with a red line for the border (see right hand side of image) but decided against it. He has marked it with pencil and written the word, "out."

The drawing is in very good condition, though there is some very light soiling to the surface of the image area. There is some staining in the margin area and a Neill family inventory label at upper left corner.  The back of the paper has a landscaping design drawn in pencil.

Back of "The Oz Parade" (1936) showing landscaping sketch by Neill.

We have many fine original drawings by John R. Neill on our sales site: Pen-and-ink, watercolors, pencil drawings, and some additional Oz material, too, with more being added every couple weeks.

Come check it all out at

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