Motor Illustrator: Z. P. Nikolaki
July 1914 Cover. A blonde, blue-eyed beauty in a leather driving cap sits behind the steering wheel of a car.
Portrait painter Count Nicholas Panoyotti Zarokilli Nikolaki was a Greek artist born in Turkey in 1879. A European painter, he was active in New York from about 1912 to 1920, providing illustrations for such publications as Modern Priscilla; Woman's Home Companion; Saturday Evening Post; The Green Book; and McCall's. Most often those images were of strikingly lovely young women. In 1915, New York publishing firm Reinthal and Newman released a series of postcards with his signed drawings of such women. He must have been well recognized as an artist, since, from 1915-1917, two advertisements (one for Woodbury Soap, the other for Pompeian Massage Cream) invited readers to send in a dime to get their own reproduction of one of his paintings. Among his illustrated books were: An Imperial Marriage; Sylvia's Experiment; A Reconstructed Marriage; The Top of the Morning; The Lovers of Skye; Are You My Wife?; and The Growing Up of Anne Carter.
He also designed WWI posters, the most famous of which was one released in 1916 depicting a shapely young woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty and holding a candlestick-type phone. Its caption read: "Hello! This is Liberty Speaking". Billions of dollars were needed for the War effort, and posters such as this one encouraged viewers to give to the cause.
He was perhaps best known for his dry-point portraits. He painted such luminaries as the Queen of Spain, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Grand Duchess Anastasia, the King of Portugal, and Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Guggenheim. In January 1920, Henry Reinhardt and Sons held a solo exhibit of his portraits.
He painted travel scenes, as well, depicting European cities such as Venice, Madrid, and Seville. His talents also enabled him to write articles for travel magazines, including one done for MoToR magazine in April 1914, "A Motor Road in the Caucasus".
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