Gil Elvgren’s “Riding High,” 1959

Gil Elvgren‘s ‘Riding High’ is probably the most famous of all pin-up witches, the GGA (‘good girl art’) against witch all other calendar and pulp-cover witches are measured. Elvgren himself has been described as “the Norman Rockwell of cheese-cake”! The same writer explains that “Elvgren has joined the ranks of Petty and Alberto Vargas as one of the premiere American pin-up artists”. Coincidentally, and conveniently, both of these other artists produced pin-up witches that will feature in forthcoming posts, along with work by Freeman Elliot, Bill Layne, Ren Wicks and others.

Below is a photograph of the original artist’s model posing for this painting.

[UPDATE 4 April 09: I have added links to artists mentioned above as featuring in forthcoming posts]

[UPDATE 26 December 09: One of Gil Elvgren’s original photos, which he used while painting “Flying High,” complete with smudged thumbprints etc, sold on eBay for USD760 in July. I was the underbidder. Below is the photos from the auction. Notice that it differs ever-so-slightly from the one above.]

[UPDATE 22 February 12: As you can see from the comment below, the model for this painting and in the above photos is Marilyn Hanold (aka Marilyn Hanold Neilson. aka Marilyn H. Neilson) who was Playboy‘s Playmate of the Month in June 1959. If you look at the gallery of images here and compare them with the Elvgren photos above you will recognise some of Marilyn’s more distinctive features.]

7 Responses to “Gil Elvgren’s “Riding High,” 1959”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Awesome artwork…I’m a huge Elvgren fan & love this pinup!

  2. I remember seeing “Riding High” as a kid in my father’s workshop.

  3. Red Witch Says:

    Kris, your father had great taste: if only it was the original he had in his workshop!

  4. Quintessential pin-up witch. I think Elvgren’s is one of my favorite “Good Girl Art” artists ever. Thanks for posting.

  5. Yes, these pictures are of me! Fun to remember. Marilyn Neilson Also the new calendar of 2012 – the cover is of me.

  6. jonathan scott cox Says:

    awesome.i have riding high tattoo love it!!!!

  7. Mathew Colecliffe Says:

    Hey dude, who owns the rights to the image? Im looking at getting some t’s made up with this image onthe back. Im in the military and our mascot is a witch riding a broom but I want to revamp our original to this one.

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