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Illustration Art, Richard de Menocal, Lady in Large Headdress, Vintage Watercolor (Sold)

Richard A. de Menocal (1919-1995)
Lady in Large Headdress
American: c. Mid 20th Century
Signed lower right “Menocal”
Signed verso: “de Menocal” and stamped by Condé Nast
Watercolor and gouache on paper
23 x 17 inches

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Line drawing accented with painterly strokes of color, depicting a woman in profile wearing a large headdress. It was apparently drawn for a magazine belonging to Condé Nast Publications, bearing the publisher’s stamp on the back. Indeed, de Menocal worked for Condé Nast early in his career.

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The Smithsonian Institution has the following online biography of the artist from the catalog of the Sara Roby Foundation collection:

De Menocal graduated from the school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. During his early career he drew illustrations for Condé Nast publications, organized displays for the Lord and Taylor department store in New York City, and created costume designs for Radio City Music Hall. He had his first solo exhibition in 1951, and continued to show in this country even after moving to Brazil. In the 1960s de Menocal withdrew from the secular world and spent over a decade at the Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, and later with the Trappists in Derryville, Virginia, and Spencer, Massachusetts. After leaving the monastery he settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and returned to painting. In the still life arrangements for which he is best known, de Menocal is concerned with quietude of mood and with formal issues of balance and tone.


Mecklenburg, Virginia M.; Essay By William Kloss. Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987. p. 48. Online at (9 August 2006).

Additional information


20th Century