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by Profiles in History
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST | Calabasas, CA, US    Live Auction

Lot 9: (Frazetta) A Gentle Breeze. (790 views)

(Frazetta) A Gentle Breeze.
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

9. (Frazetta) A Gentle Breeze. (1962) Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink on 14 x 18 in. illustration board. Exquisite inking by the best in the world. This piece features Frank’s finest female face: sultry, sensual and catlike. Only one of three men’s magazine illustrations known to exist. Let us consider the Frazetta Female:

I like the girls of Vargas. I like the pinups of Elvgren even more. As a matter of fact, there are scores of very talented girlie artists that have drawn and painted females of every race, occupation, and in every setting…and continue to do so. The one common element of all these artists is that they present fresh-looking girls exhibited with little touches of soft-core titillation. They are all so perky and exuberant…it’s impossible not to find them very appealing. It is a growth industry and not likely to stop anytime soon. At any given time eBay is stuffed with hundreds of female depictions from artists of varying degrees of talent.

Now, let’s add Frazetta into this equation. He is, in a word, different. Why is it that collectors are always looking for babes by Frazetta? This is the number one pursuit by Frank’s legions of rabid worldwide fans. I get requests every single day from collectors looking for a great Frazetta female. Why is this? It is because of the unique nature of Frazetta’s women. Yes, he has drawn that same type of soft-core pinup girl we can see in the men’s magazine illustrations from the early 1960s. They are beautifully drawn, but for the most part they don’t rise above the norm for this type of subject matter. He was doing a job and doing it well. On his worst day Frank can draw girls better than most other artists on their best day. Consider this unique case of the female drawn for this 1962 illustration from a men’s magazine. The story is unimportant. The man is beautifully rendered, but he is there to complete the story. The crosshatching defining his back is simply sublime. The fantastic machine is there as a bit of an inside joke. It’s looking at her bottom and saying “Va-Va-Voom” (if you can understand machine language!). Delightful.

Frank wanted the woman to be special. He spent 3 full pages in his 1962 sketchbook to explore the composition. I have all these pages and they are part of this auction. This sketchbook features large 11 x 14 in. pages. Frazetta has girls jumping, standing, writhing, rolling, tumbling and floating across these 3 pages. Is he having fun? He certainly is. Thank heaven that we have these pages intact and we are able to see this great mind at play. Notice that he even includes a caveman on one of the pages. One might think it is out of place here. Not at all. With all those females populating those pages, Frank drew his id onto the page. That caveman is the visual embodiment of Frank’s testosterone. All those women demand a leering male presence! Frank is there. Quite amazing, really.

The final result is a sensational floating female, an apparition in the night with lush, wild hair and a face that defies description. Is this your standard cutesy pie girl-next-door type? Not at all. Her face reveals a woman that is gentle and sensual, strong and erotic. The face has catlike qualities that are unusual and highly desirable. Has Frazetta ever drawn a better female face? I do not think so.

With his women, Frank transcends the pinup mentality and all its superficial prettiness and contrived sexiness. His women smolder. There is genuine mystery present and a sense of personal power. He brings insight and revelation to his depictions that go beyond prettified surface descriptions. That is the realm of Vargas and Elvgren and others. Again, they are sensational painters of the female form. But Frazetta brings a new set of very special qualities to his best females. Page upon page could be written about the magic of the
Cat Girl oil, or the Burroughs heroines, or all those other sensual females from the Canaveral drawings, or the Doubleday illustrations. The list goes on and on. One thing is sure…collectors will always be searching for the best Frazetta female that their pocketbook can afford. Now, that is ART with all the capitals in place!” $20,000 - $30,000


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Lot 9: (Frazetta) A Gentle Breeze.
Profiles in History
DocDave Winiewicz Frazetta Collection
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST