A circa 1950 oil on paper on board painting, 17 1/4" by 13 1/2", 21 1/2" by 17 3/4" in wood frame, signed lower left "Barye". This is an original drawing by the well known American illustrator PHILLIPS BARYE (1924-1969). Barye was well known at mid century for his paperback cover illustrations---he came to be known as "King of the Paperbacks" and was apparently a very fast worker, able to produce four illustrations in a week. He began his career at Columbia Pictures in the early 1940's, worked at propaganda art during World War II, and in 1943 produced his first paperback cover. He worked in a realistic style, the images often of sultry and sexy women interacting with men in romantic situations or intrigue. He worked for a number of publishers, including Gold Medal/Fawcett, Avon, Bantam, Dell, Pocket Books, and Signet. In recent years works have sold to the $5,000 area at auctions. This example is dirty/yellowed perhaps from nicotine, and there is a damage area at the bottom, a ragged crack of about 4 1/2" length, where focused pressure from the back side at one time caused the punch damage/paper split we see. This will need to be repaired, and some general cleaning work by a professional could be undertaken at that time. There are a few light scratches such as the hairline in the man's face. Images are a bit more yellow than actual art due to the photos having been taken in late afternoon light. Overall this is a fine example of American mid century illustration and pop culture.
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