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

Lot 17: (Frazetta) Lord of the Savage Jungle. (954 views)

(Frazetta) Lord of the Savage Jungle.
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

17. (Frazetta) Lord of the Savage Jungle. (1965) “13 Natives Attack Tarzan”. Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink on 9 x 10 in. artists’ leaf. This is my personal favorite and is the favorite of most collectors. It simply does not get any better than this. I have written extensively on this original in many places. Frank considered the piece to be priceless. It took me 27 years to pry this original from longtime collector and publisher Russ Cochran. That is a good story in itself. The illustration depicting Tarzan rising out of a group of a dozen natives is entitled, Lord of the Savage Jungle. It is a complete spellbinding masterpiece - powerful in design, gracefully brushed, and totally hypnotic in its overall effect. The surface crackles with artistic electricity. The text on which this scene is based is completely irrelevant. This is where illustration meets fine art and becomes indistinguishable from it. Great art is always Fine Art, regardless of what its initial motivation is. Frazetta’s brush explodes with emotion, mood, and characterization. The mysterious wonder and power of art is on full display as simple lines affect us, enrich us, and enliven us. Here we are absorbing a quality of Frazetta’s powerful personality. This is not illustration; this is high Art at its highest level of excellence. Too much hyperbole? I think not. This little jewel presents a magical, multi-layered expressiveness that grips both the imagination and the intellect. On a very literal level we view a dark, dramatic scene where straining and struggling natives attempt to subdue and capture Tarzan. The art is so compelling in the original that the natives’ muscles seem to be alive with movement and heated exertion. A symphony of carefully coordinated lines captures our eye. The natives appear to be in constant motion. After this initial visual shock, the mind becomes completely engaged. One begins to intellectualize about the scene - on a deeper, metaphorical level we are given an insight into the human condition and the nature of the hero, who endures, perseveres, and ultimately prevails no matter how daunting or overwhelming the circumstances. In the composition Tarzan does not look down at his earthly predicament; instead, his gaze is raised to the heavens and deep, inner strength is being summoned. His straining chest and matted hair give testimony to an almost superhuman physical exertion. An intricately woven latticework of crosshatched lines defines the form of Tarzan and separates him visually from the smoother brushwork on the natives. A rich, resonant light illuminates Tarzan and energizes the composition with a shimmering vitality. Frazetta has never been better. There is such richness of inspiration here. This is a picture of man overcoming his obstacles, transcending imposed limitations, and triumphing. It is a work of human affirmation. I asked Frazetta about the symbolic richness that I see in his work. His response was candid, “I’ll be quite honest with you. When you point all these ideas out to me I’m rather amazed. I never really set out to put it in there, but, if you see it, it must be there. You’re pretty good at this. It does make some sense and I can certainly see it now. A lot of people see things in my art and I am constantly amazed with what they say.” The answer, of course, is that no artist can be completely aware of everything that goes into an original. It is a mysterious flow of soul that invests the ink and lines with an almost enchanted richness. After all, at its base, art is mysterious because creativity is mysterious. One man is disclosing part of his soul to another at a very deep level.
$40,000 - $60,000


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Lot 17: (Frazetta) Lord of the Savage Jungle.
Profiles in History
DocDave Winiewicz Frazetta Collection
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST