True Story Behind Sexy 50’s Pictures – it has been revealed that the sexy 50’s pictures by the man described as the greatest pin-up artist in the history of American illustration were not just drawn from his imagination but were based on real women.
Gil Elvgren (1914-1980) is best-known as the man behind all those cheesecake glamour calendars produced by US promo publishing company Brown & Bigelow.
Elvgren’s pictures date back to a more innocent time and capture women in moments where their dresses have been caught in the wind and they are revealing stockings or they have been caught by a garden sprinkler.
His women all feature prominent breasts and long legs and normally have an innocent expression and there is a feeling of catching them in an off-guard moment. All his pictures were painted in a vibrant colour scheme and his work earned him the reputation as the “Norman Rockwell of cheesecake”.
A feature on Nerve.com shows some of Elvgren’s original pictures but places alongside them the real women that he based the pictures on. It is interesting to note that he actually had photographs of them taken in the same poses as he painted them in. As they say in the article his paintings act as an early form of Photoshop photo manipulation.
There is still a big nostalgia market for this type of art and in fact to this day you can still get a calendar featuring some of Elvgren’s 50’s glamour pictures. There are plenty of pictures to choose from for the calendar as Elvgren produced over 500 different glamour paintings of women until he stopped working with Brown & Bigelow in 1972.
His work still commands high prices with his painting “Fire Belle”, depicting a busty girl sliding down a fireman’s pole, selling for over $190k in 2011.
You can check out more of Gil Elvgren’s original pin-up paintings on his tribute site.