DescriptionALBERTO VARGAS (American, 1896-1982)
Esquire Varga Calendar preliminary illustration, April 1944
Mixed-media on vellum
14 x 20 in.
Signed lower right
Alberto Vargas had a multi-step process for creating his finished paintings for publication. He'd start with several sketches, and then one of his pencil drawings would be selected, inked, and colored. Using this ink and paint preliminary as a guide, Vargas would render the final painting. The final piece would often differ in details like hair color or clothing. The drafts were sometimes kept and given to friends, usually with a personalized inscription added.
This painting is the last draft for the April 1944 Esquire Varga Calendar painting. The pencil lines are visible and have been inked over. The draft was signed and a handwritten inscription was added that indicates that the piece was given to a childhood friend in Peru, where Vargas grew up.
The finished painting that was based on this preliminary was printed on page 103 of Reid Stewart Austin's book, Varga The Esquire Years A Catalogue Raisonné, St. James Press Ltd., 1987.
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