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.]