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Lot 0132
Duke believed an artist should have two mediums, one to play creatively off of the other. Early in his life Duke received a scholarship to attend the Pratt Institute, which he turned down to pursue music, but formed a small business as a sign painter early in his musical career to supplement his income. Duke continued to paint and sketch to complement his music throughout his life. In this oil-on-fiberboard painting, titled "Satin Doll," Duke portrayed the enigmatic subject of one of his most famous songs- "Satin Doll." The woman in the painting is casting her gaze over her shoulder, as in the lyrics of the song. Her facial features are a combination of three of the most important women in Duke's life- his former lover, singer-actress Lena Horne; his sister, Ruth Ellington; and Marian Logan, the wife of his physician and best friend, Dr. Arthur Logan. Duke was a deep believer in duality, especially the interplay between the masculine and feminine. His interest in duality is embodied in this work of art in light of the underlying image under the surface of this painting. Beneath the angelic image of a smiling woman, a demon-like face can be seen. The painting comes framed, and measures 17.5" x 13.5" unframed and 26" x 22" framed.

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Satin Doll, Painting by Duke Ellington

Estimate $20,000 - $30,000May 18, 2016
New York, NY, USA