Young Bess (MGM 1953), exterior of Hampton Court in the 1550s
35'-0” x 15'-6"
Urie McCleary, Production Designer
Cedric Gibbons, Art Director
George Gibson, Scenic Art Supervisor
Scenic Art Attributed to: Ben Carré, Clark Provins, Harry Tepker, Bill Jekel, Wayne Hill, Gordon Butcher, Bob Oberbeck, Jim Dobson
Our Second backdrop from Young Bess is of Hampton Court Palace, King Henry's Tudor home.
Harry Tepker, one of the notable scenic artists to work on this painting and trained by George Gibson, was your consummate production artist. He was exceptional in creating the illusion of aerial perspective and in explaining this technique to his assistants. The color palette was straightforward and always set it up the same way. He would establish the foreground colors, middle distance colors, and distance colors for each painting. Each zone of distance would have a warm and a cool color set at a specific value. Tepker would then move back and forth between each value zone's colors to build up the image. Tepker was adept at this style of painting and generous in teaching his predecessors. This technique was pivotal to MGM's scenic art success. Gibson's "1-2-3" style became his aesthetic control of each painting produced for MGM.