Label it art

Raphael Kirchner - Greek Virgins 1900

Raphael Kirchner is labeled as an erotic ‘pin up’ illustrator. I am a great fan of the great 1950 ‘pin up’ illustrators Harry Ekman, Gil Elvgren, Edward Runci, Alberto Vargas  

Dream Date - Gil Elvgren 1968

Honestly the list is very long and these are only a few of the greatest illustrators. They perfected the art of color and capturing the life that is contained in the spirit of a woman. Yes they were completely chauvinist, they depict woman as playful and as playthings. Mostly they are scenarios which men may find erotic but they are very tastefully explicit. The fascination that men and woman have with the beauty of the female form and face will probably be with us until we all stop drawing and painting . I have to mention that there are several female pin-up artists Joyce Ballentyne, Pearl Frush and Zoë Mozert.

Zoë Mozert - Self Portrait

Coming back to Raphael Kirchner (1876-1917). An Austrian, he became famous during the First World War amongst British and French serviceman. It was before the 1920’s and his delicate handling of female sexuality must have been enormously appealing to men at the beginning of the previous century. Although he spent time in Paris until the war he move to the U.S. soon after and was definitely a forerunner to the pin-up artistis of the 1940’s and 1950’s

Girls with good luck charms and Mayflyes by Raphael Kirchner (1902-1904)

It is Kirchner’s gentle touch that first caught my eye. His hand is so subtle almost careful and in that he captures a sensitivity to his subject that makes for a very interesting study. I will share some more of his work in the future. He did more than a 1000 pieces, his later works became more provocative and it is his early work that I really am in love with. Label them pin-up artists, label the illustrators but when you create and your soul is in what you create it is art. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else labels it.

2 thoughts on “Label it art

  1. I love this post. Mayfles is my favorite – it reminds me of this painting with Joan of Arc and there are Spirits in the trees but they are deeply buried in the tree you don’t initially see them. It’s gorgeous I want to try to find it to share. I followed you over from 21 Secrets…so excited you are there. When I arrived here I realized that I’ve been on this playground before and I love it here.

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