Frazetta’s ‘Escape on Venus’
PAINTING USED FOR COVER OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS NOVEL REFLECTS LEGEND’S ‘STUNNING’ STYLE
It seems the legacy of Frank Frazetta grows with each passing day.
In May, the artist’s 1990 painting Death Dealer 6 – first published as the cover for Verotik’s 1996 Death Dealer #2 comic book – more than doubled the all-time auction record for any piece of comic art when it sold for $1.79 million. It was also a record for a Frazetta painting and three times its $600,000 pre-auction estimate.
“Owning a Frazetta painting is a dream for many serious art collectors and not just fans of the comics and fantasy art genres,” says Joe Mannarino, director of comics and comic art at Heritage Auctions.
Similar excitement is building over Heritage Auctions’ latest offering: Escape on Venus, a painting Frazetta completed in 1972. The piece was used for the cover of the 1974 re-issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name.
The image was also released as a print in the late 1970s. “It is a stunning piece,” Mannarino says. “From the piercing eyes of the tiger to the delicate jewelry on the female to the soft lush vegetation, it is an iconic piece from an artist who produces nothing less than exemplary pieces.”
When Frazetta died in 2010 at age 82, the Los Angeles Times noted his “images of sinewy warriors and lush vixens graced paperback novels, album covers and comic books for decades and became something close to the contemporary visual definition of the sword-and-sorcery genres.”
Frazetta’s images, Mannarino adds, have adorned the rooms of fans for nearly 50 years. “Countless artists, filmmakers and writers point to him as inspiration. His imagination and artistry make his images timeless.”
This story appears in the Fall 2018 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.