Watercolour painting by Marilyn Manson

painting of Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short as Snow White (A smile II)

2002.
30 x 22 inches or 76 x 56 cm

Elizabeth Short (alias the Black Dahlia), travelled to Hollywood in search of fame but became a victim of murder. Her nude body was found cut in half in a vacant lot in Leimert Park on January 15, 1947, the blood drained from it before it was left there. Mystery writer James Ellroy immortalized the case in an acclaimed 1987 novel. You can search the web for more of the gruesome details.

Short got her name from a combination of being seen dressed all in black at local nightspots, and because of a popular film of the time called "The Blue Dahlia". Marilyn painted two full-length views of her body which I've not shown here.

MM: "[(A smile II)] is how she left, in a sad way, very famous. Technically, but who's to say what is technical and what's not, I think this is one of my best pieces. So I hope no one buys it, 'cause I really don't want to lose it."

There's a film about her life, and death, based on Ellroy's novel.

Film poster for The Black Dahlia

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