Henrique Medina’s Picture of Dorian Gray

Published: May 23, 2014

In the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray, there are actually two pictures of Mr. Gray — a “before” and an “after”– painted by two different artists.  The “after” painting by American artist Ivan Albright now lives in the Art Institute in Chicago, where you can find it on display.

Ivan Albright’s Picture of Dorian Gray

The other picture of Dorian was painted by Portuguese artist Henrique Medina, whose work should look somewhat familiar to Clark aficionados:

Henrique Medina's Picture of Dorian Gray
Henrique Medina’s Picture of Dorian Gray

Medina is responsible for the portraits of William Andrews Clark, Jr., Cora Sanders, and Robert E. Cowan that are prominently displayed in the library’s drawing room.

Henrique Medina's Picture of Mr. Clark
Henrique Medina’s Picture of Mr. Clark

Medina (1901-1988) spent several years in Los Angeles, where he was a favorite of society and Hollywood figures, including (it seems) Mr. Clark and his staff.  Works by Medina are housed in museums and collections around the world and there is a museum of his work in his native Portugal.  What Medina thought about the coincidence of painting Dorian Gray’s portrait after painting portraits of the founder and staff of one of the largest Oscar Wilde collections in the world is unknown — but hopefully he found it as interesting as we do.

Medina's Picture of Robert Cowan
Medina’s Picture of Robert Cowan

Apparently his portrait of Dorian Gray was at some point given as a gift to Hurd Hatfield, the actor who played Dorian in the film.  According to Hatfield’s Wikipedia entry, his art collections and other estate contents were sold at auction at his home in County Cork in 2007.  We’d love to know if Medina’s Picture of Dorian Gray was among those contents. If you can help us figure out more details about the auction and about who owns the portrait now, we would be very thankful!

Henrique Medina, from the University of Porto

5 Comments

Crónán Ó Doibhlin on

I was at the auction and do not recall seeing the painting there. A number of higher value items were held back by the estate owner as far as I know.

rtemilynguyen on

Just recently I found the whereabouts of the Dorian Gray painting by Henrique Medina. Apparently Hurd Hatfield’s relative, art collector Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, was the one that held the painting up to his death on August 2014 at the age of 85. The painting will be held on auction on March 21, 2015 at New York, Rockefeller Plaza. Here’s more info from this auction site: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/henrique-medina-portrait-of-hurd-hatfield-as-5875468-details.aspx?pos=330&intObjectID=5875468&sid=

And even more information here: http://www.christies.com/sales/collection-of-robert-hatfield-ellsworth-part5-new-york-march-2015/index.aspx#sale-info

From the sounds of it, people could probably view the items, including the painting, on display from March 11 to 18 (10 am to 8 pm each day).

Sally on

Thanks for the video of the painting… I have always loved this movie and been interested in both paintings.. I was in Chicago and have seen the ugly one… I have always wondered about this one… It is an amazing likeness of Hurd Hatfield..

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