Fritz In The Box

Pamela Phelps

Phillipsport, United States

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Artist's Description

“It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set”
~William Somerset Maugham

Portrait of Fritz Emmet
Emmet, (Joseph) Klein (1841–91), actor and singer. Born in St. Louis, he was apprenticed to a sign painter who also painted sets for local playhouses. Fritz was often looked upon as “Inartistic”, his personality winning fame rather than his talent in the beginning.

Working on these sets, gave him a taste for the stage and before long he was performing his own song and dance act. A stint in minstrelsy, including an engagement with Dan Bryant, was followed by several seasons in variety, where he perfected a “Dutch” act, wearing a green blouse and cap and wooden shoes and singing in broken English. In 1870 the wide‐eyed actor with curly black hair first appeared as Fritz, the young man seeking his long‐lost sister, in Fritz, Our Cousin German. Singing “Emmet’s Lullaby,” the role made him a star and provided a vehicle for the rest of his life. He also appeared in a number of similar pieces such as Carl, the Fiddler (1871), Max, the Merry Swiss Boy (1873), and Fritz in Ireland (1879). His skill with such instruments as the guitar, the violin, and the harmonica and his fine Irish tenor voice and supple dancing combined with his winning personality to assure him steady occupation in what were essentially the flimsiest of plays. He died, apparently of paresis, while still at the height of his popularity.

Composed in Photoshop using reflective box method, layers, effects, and textures. Portrait painted in Twisted Brush.
Original image is a purchased vintage poster copyright free.
Textures courtesy of CGTextures

Artwork Comments

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