These are Barks's first three Disney paintings which were not based on already existant comic book covers:
71-21 Blue Composition of Ducks
72-01 Christmas Composition
72-02 Pleasure in the Treasure

The third painting, »Pleasure in the Treasure«, is the first painting where Barks was free to choose the subject himself.

Excerpt from a September 11, 2003 email by Donald Ault

From: Donald D. Ault
To: Daniel van Eijmeren
Subject: Re: Barks's Disney paintings, inspired or custum-ordered?
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 21:04:43 -0400


The first money bin ("Pleasure in the Treasure") was commissioned by San Francisco comics store owner and publisher Gary Arlington. It was ordered through me, and Gary specifically told me to tell Carl that he could painting anything he wanted. (I remember that Gary said something to the effect that he'd had lots of experience with creative people like R. Crumb, and they always did their best when they were given free reign.) So the idea of a "money bin" painting was Carl's own. Gary Arlington didn't indicate in any way what he wanted--except that it be an original composition and not a recreation of one of the covers as most of the early paintings had been. We discussed this at length in part of my 1997 interview, excerpts from which appear on pages 194-95 of my Barks Conversations book. This fact about Arlington's "no strings" request is referred to on page 88 of the Fine Art book as well.

The subject matter of the other two paintings mentioned was generally dictated by potential buyers--one who wanted a Christmas scene and one who wanted a "posed" picture of the some of the major characters. The Christmas scene, however, went up for public auction through Russ Cochran, and the potential buyer who had requested that topic ended up buying it for the highest bid. The "link(awdfp7121,default,Blue Ducks)" painting was sold directly to the person who originally suggested the "posed characters" painting idea.

Donald Ault Professor of English University of Florida



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