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    Alberto Vargas (1896-1983) Original Painting (1921). No single artist in the history of pin-up art has attained the universal acclaim of Alberto Vargas. Admired and collected the world over for nearly three-quarters of a century, his name and exquisite images have become synonymous with pin-up and glamour art. Only his contemporary, George Petty, comes close to his level of recognition, but is ultimately surpassed by Vargas' legendary status. The greater portion of Vargas' prominence can only be attributed to the mastery of his craft and life-long devotion to immortalizing the American girl. However, a fraction of his fame was simply fate. After spending years developing his distinctive style, working first in the 1920s for Florenz Ziegfeld, then for several of the major Hollywood movie studios in the 1930s, he became George Petty's replacement at Esquire magazine in 1940. Vargas' elegant paintings for Esquire created an immediate sensation and impact on the American culture, but it would be nearly 20 years before the Vargas Girl would reach her full potential and become the hallmark of glamour and pin-up art. Legal troubles with Esquire in the mid- and late 1940s were followed by many lean years in the 1950s. In 1960, the Vargas Girl resurfaced within the pages of Playboy magazine; it was a relationship that would last for sixteen years. Within a few issues Vargas had revitalized his images for Playboy, bringing the Vargas Girl to a new level of artistic achievement, and her creator an enduring and unparalleled prominence in the world of pin-up art. An important rare and early work, Alberto Vargas painted this exquisite art deco image, titled Moonlight on the Hudson, in 1921. It is rendered in watercolor and mixed media on board, measures approximately 22 x 34, and is signed and dated lower right.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2003
    6th-10th Thursday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
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