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Francis Cugat also known as Francisco Coradal-Cougat (May 24, 1893—July 13, 1981) was a portrait, poster and book jacket artist and set designer, whose most famous work was the original 1925 cover of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Cougat studied at the academy at Rheims, and then in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He became known as a portrait painter in France, South America and Cuba before coming to the United States.
Cugat created distinctive, stylized theatre cards for several opera personalities in the period 1915-1918 including Lucien Muratore, Rosa Raisa and Giacomo Rimini. These visually dramatic posters were the result of Cugat having been discovered by Cleofonte Campannini in Chicago. Cugat came to the general director of the opera asking for the commission to paint poster portraits of the Chicago Opera Association stars. He continued in this endevor, painting Nellie Melba, as well.
In the early 1920s Cugat continued his artistic career in New York City. Cugat moved to Hollywood in 1925. For many years, Cugat was a designer in Hollywood for Douglas Fairbanks and had a 1942 show in New York, well after his famous work for The Great Gatsby. He was credited for technical work on sixty-eight Hollywood films.
On November 28, 1922, in New York City, Cugat was married to the painter Ruth Wadler Cugat (b. New York), the sister of Lucille Lortel, founder of the White Barn Theatre. He died in Westport, Connecticut, on July 13, 1981.
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