Ettore Serbaroli


Ettore Serbaroli was born in Italy 1881; he started working with Italian portrait painter and muralist Cesare Maccari. At 26 years old, he went to Mexico to execute some mural works at The Palacio de las Bellas Artes. With the Mexican revolution he moved to San Francisco with his Mexican wife, were he made paintings and murals for the Panama Pacific international Exposition. He also was required to paint embellishment on the ceiling at Randolph Hearts fabulous castle at San Simeon. That makes him get in contact with some people at film industry, and he got an offer to work at First National Pictures. In 1927 he moved to Hollywood and started his
career as portrait artist for films. He also contributed paintings scenic backgrounds, murals and collaborating with FX department doing occasionally works at matte painting.
He worked at RKO, Warner Bros, Paramount and T.C.Fox until late 40´s, when he focused his painting career into ecclesiastical artwork. He executed mural and paintings for more than a dozen California churches, unitl his death at 1951.

(Biographical information and pictures thanks to his grandson Joseph Serbaroli Jr.)
Full article about Ettore Serbaroli and more images at:

1928 – The Shepherd of the Hills. (First National. Portrait of Marian Douglas as shepherd girl.)
1930 – Dixiana. (RKO Studios. Portraits, Stilllifes, murals, stage backdrops, and other works.)
1931 – Transgression. ( RKO Studios. Repro portraits of Winterhalter’s Napoleon & Eugenie.)
1931 – The Bargain. (First National Pictures. Portrait of Una Merkel.)
1932 – So Big. (First National. Reproduction of Mary Ann Goulding portrait and 2 others.)
1932 – They Call It Sin. (First National Pictures. Two very large classic portraits of women.)
1933 – Mystery of the Wax Museum. (Warner Bros. Two background murals in wax museum.)
1933 – Ever in My Heart. (Warner Bros. Backdrop in garden. Mary Ann Goulding portrait.)
1933 – Footlight Parade. (Warner Bros. Portrait of President Roosevelt, and other work.)
1935 – Dante’s Inferno. (20th Century-Fox. Portraits: Alexander, Virgil, Salome, Cleopatra.)
1935 – Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Warner Brothers. Stage backdrops.)
1935 – The Littlest Rebel. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Pen & ink for title frame of film.)
1937 – Lloyds of London. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Oil painting in casino. Large map.)
1937 – Heidi. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Pen & ink portraits Shirley Temple, Arthur Treacher, Helen Westley, Sidney Blackmer, Jean Hersholt, Thomas Beck, Mary Nash.)
1937 – Café Metropole. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Murals, portraits and decorative work in café.)
1938 – Suez. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Pen & ink portrait of Loretta Young as Eugenie. Pen & ink of the Stock Certificate for the Suez Co.)
1939 – The Little Princess. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Full-length portrait of Queen Victoria. British Coat of Arms and background templates in opening & closing frames.)
1939 – The Rains Came. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Portraits: Tyrone Power as Major Safti, H.B.Warner as the Maharajah, & Maria Ouspenskaya as the Maharani. Matte shots. Academy award to Fred Sersen for effects.)
1939 – The Hound of the Baskervilles. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Ralph Forbes portrait as Sir Hugo Baskerville. Five other portraits.)
1944 – Experiment Perilous. (RKO Radio Pictures. Portrait of Hedy Lamarr as Allida Bedereau. Academy award to Darrell Silvera for interior decorations.)
1944 – Wilson. (Twentieth Century-Fox. Portraits of George Washington, Martha Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Full-length reproductions of the originals that reside in the East Room of the White House. Also portraits of William Howard Taft, Benjamin Franklin and others.
Academy award to Thomas Little for production design.)




1. Portrait for “The Hound of Baskervilles ” (1939)

2. “two Pen & inks for HEIDI (1937) and for THE LITTLEST REBEL (1935).”


3. Matte shot fo “The rains came” (1939). The film earned the Award for Special Effects to head of department Fred Sersen.


4. Portrait of Bette Davis and Darryl Zanuck.