Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway by George H. Rothacker - acrylic on canvas -  24" x 24" - Original painting $2400, prints @$90 each plus tax and shipping (Prints are an edition of 50, signed, titled and numbered with an image area of 13"x 13").
Although we had read a Hemingway story, The Killers, in high school, I had never come in contact with the writer until my second semester at Temple. I was in the Technical School at the University studying Engineering, and a course in English literature was a requirement. Most of the students suffered through Madame Bovary, some short stories and The Sun Also Rises, but I suddenly came to love literature, and was fascinated with the tale of Spain, the bull ring and the impossible love affair in Hemingway’s book.

Over the years, except for required reading of The Old Man and the Sea, I avoided Papa Hemingway, turning instead to foreign writers like Goethe, Dostoyevski, Camus, Balzac, and the many modern Americans like Vonnegut, Mailer and Robbins.

But it’s hard to avoid a legend, especially after I decided to paint Havana and traveled there “under the radar” in 2009 with my wife and two friends. Along with the crumbling buildings and the ubiquitous 1950 cars, Hemingway’s presence seemed to be everywhere, and after visiting his home on the outskirts of the City, I became entranced with his persona.

I painted Hemingway in his living room and on his boat, Pilar, which is dry-docked in his former tennis court. We visited his favorite bars and heard the stories as legendary as his being.
That led to a reading of For Whom the Bell Tolls and a few biographies, and a re-revisit with The Old Man and the Sea, better understood at 60 than at 20. It also brought me into the charms of this larger than life man and the fragile sturdiness of his being and his prose.

So here he is in paint!  My wife says his head’s too big. I say, “Yes it was!”

Ernest Hemingway

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