“Tarzan at the Earth’s Core” (detail) by Frank Frazetta
On December 11, a treasure trove of Frank Frazetta art from Dr. Dave Winiewicz’s collection will be auctioned by Profiles in History. All told, there are 129 lots, with the great majority being original Frazetta drawings and paintings. “I have carefully chosen these art examples as the very best of their genre, the fruits of literally hundreds of deals,” Winiewicz writes in the auction catalog. “A better selection of drawings, sketches, and watercolors simply cannot be found. A collection is defined by its highlights and my collection is filled with extraordinary examples. I have always considered Frazetta to be the finest pen and ink artist who has ever lived. No one else comes close.”
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To view the full catalog, which is itself a great book about Frazetta and his work, visit the auction’s page at the Profiles in History website. To give you a sense of the quality of work up for sale, we’ve pulled 10 favorites from the 204-page document. The comments in the image captions come from Winiewicz’s descriptions in the catalog. (For even more insightful Winiewicz commentary, check out the videos he’s been posting to his YouTube channel.)
Frank Frazetta, THE LION QUEEN. (1960) Accomplished in mixed media on 7 x 11 in. artists’ board. One of Frank’s truly great masterpieces incorporating all the themes he would become famous for: a sexy woman, cat, vegetation, and ancient cityscape.
Frank Frazetta, SUMMER OF THE COUP. (1973) Accomplished in oil paint on 16 x 20 in. Masonite board. Wild action and intensity on all levels. Everything is in motion. Gun, tomahawk, buckskin, amulets, hair, boots, clothes – everything flying and flowing from the magic brush of Frazetta. Even the ground appears to explode with the intensity of this confrontation.
Frank Frazetta, FLASH GORDON “BATTLES THE MONSTER FROM MONGO”. (1950) Accomplished in pen and ink on 15 x 24 in. artists’ leaf. Sensational inking and a rare image of Flash Gordon. A very large original. Rejected as a Buster Crabbe cover because it did not depict the actual image of Buster Crabbe.
Frank Frazetta, SELF-PORTRAIT #1. (1995) Accomplished in pencil on 11 x 16 in. artists’ leaf.
Frank Frazetta, BARBARIAN AND CASTLE. (1970) Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink and watercolor on 6 x 8 in. artists’ leaf. Over the years Frazetta singled out a small group of sketches and added some watercolor. This, of course, is an entirely different genre than his roughs or studies that have watercolor. … This warrior sketch was originally purchased by Russ Cochran directly from Frank in the early 70s.
Frank Frazetta, NUDE AND LITTLE ELF (THE GIFT).
(1993) Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink and watercolor on 8 x 9 in. artists’ illustration board. A pillow book watercolor that showcases the softer and gentler side of Frazetta.
Frank Frazetta, CINDY IS SAVED. (1954) Accomplished in pen and ink on 12.5 x 19 in. artists’ leaf. As good as it gets! One of Frank’s greatest efforts. Idiosyncratic action and a highly personal approach to the character animation.
Frank Frazetta, DAY OF WRATH (WARRIOR WITH SEVERED HEAD). (1975) Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink and watercolor on 7 x 9 in. artists’ leaf. This is Frazetta’s greatest sketch. … The sense of menace and power just explodes from this page.The entire drawing sings with savage life. It could have been drawn by Michelangelo.
Frnk Frazetta, TARZAN AND THE CASTAWAYS COVER. (1965) “Tarzan and Princess”. Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink on 9 x 11.5 in. artists’ leaf. Top collector and comic art historian Roger Hill proclaimed this piece as Frank’s finest pen/brush work. … Agree or disagree, but there is no denying it is one of Frank’s top three illustrations.