Label it art
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.
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
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.