Destiny was created by Grell in 1928 to be exhibited at the Chicago and Vicinity show at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1930. Written on the reverse side of this watercolor study for the large painting is, Hall of Judiciary. The large painting, now held in a private collection in Chicago, hung above the main door to the exhibit hall at the Art Institute and won the Harry Frank prize for figure composition during the annual Chicago show. Grell designed and painted a poem on either side of the door. Family rumor is that versions of this painting were created by Grell as murals and placed in courthouses. The prize winning painting hung in Grell’s studio in Chicago until after his death when a local art dealer purchased it from his widow, Friedl. Notice the clothing on the figures in the watercolor indicating its possible use in a courthouse or Grell’s decision to later remove the clothing for the final painting. The painting was offered for sale by the artist for $3,500 at the Art Institute and later at the Chicago Galleries for $4,000 in 1930. The cloak study shows how Grell decided on the colors for the bright cloak and how important the mystic face was to the overall design.
The current owner of Destiny stated that another watercolor study exists showing architectural details indicating that Grell did at least submit it for a mural design.
Destiny 1928, 102″ x 64″ oil on canvas with original period frame = Chicago private collection
Watercolor 1928, 33.5″ x 13.5″ = California Grell collection
Watercolor 1928, Cloak study = Chicago private collection