Pedro Llanuza Figurative Painting - San Francisco Tong War Illustration
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Pedro Llanuza
San Francisco Tong War Illustration

1930

About

Shortly after the Armistice of 1918 brought an end to World War I, an outbreak of violence within San Francisco's Chinatown attracted national attention, and raised awareness of the off-and-on gangland violence known as the Tong wars. As San Francisco became known as home to the largest Chinese population anywhere outside of Asia, fascination about the insular Chinatown community, and Orientalist inspired flights of fancy based on rumors of its exotic and lurid underbelly became pronounced. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, a spate of interest in the prostitution and drug rings that fueled the Tong Wars, and the "hatchet men" who were the enforcers for each Tong. In many ways analogous to Mafia families, Tong stories were popular staples of pulp fiction, and pre-code film. Edward G. Robinson, best known for his tough-guy gangster roles, even played a hatchet man in the 1932 film of the same name. This greyscale gouache on artist's paper shows a beautiful maiden, identified as "Bow Kim--LIttle Sweet Flower--[who] precipitated a bloody war. It appears as a bookplate inthe 1930 book "Tong War!" by Eng Ying Gong and Bruce Grant. The artist, Pedro Llanuza, was a native of San Francisco and brought a sense of dramatic tension and realism to the image. He is best known for his work as an illustrator for the San Francisco Chronicle. 11 1/4" X 18 1/2" matted to 17 1/4" X 25"

Details

  • Artist
    Pedro Llanuza (1882, American)
  • Creation Year
    1930
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    H 18.5 in. x W 11.25 in.H 46.99 cm x W 28.58 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Reference Number
    LU12224402772
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About the Seller

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Located in Minneapolis, MN
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