Gil Elvgren: All-American Woman, muses and paintings

In 1951, Modern Man magazine asked Gil Elvgren what he thought of American women. His answer was brilliantly rooted in his own time.

[They] are infinitely smarter today. They are more beautiful than ever before. They are more natural. They are not tying themselves in like they used to. And they are not looking like boys any more, thank God.

The Muse and the American Pin-Up Painting:

Gil Elvgren other 9 gil Elvgren-janet_2 gil elvgren-pin-ups16[3] Gil Elvgren other 7 Gil Elvgren other 6 Gil Elvgren other 5 Gil Elvgren other 4 Gil Elvgren other 3 Gil Elvgren classic-pin-up-girls-07 Gil Elvgren classic-pin-up-girls-08 Gil Elvgren classic-pin-up-girls-10 Gil Elvgren classic-pin-up-girls-11 Gil Elvgren classic-pin-up-girls-09

Gil Elvgren Photo


uFunk: les pin-up classiques et les filles modeles

Express UK: Pin-up Queens – The real women behind Gil Elvgren cheesecake paintings

21 Comments on “Gil Elvgren: All-American Woman, muses and paintings”

  1. Pelelotus says:

    The lady with the dress over her head with the red heels is the finest one.

  2. esther says:

    you can see the “photo-shopping” even then! the limbs are elongated, with thinner ankles; the bust is enhanced whilst the waistline is much smaller than the model’s. beside’s the artist’s hand of interpretation is an idealization that is unachievable. at least his women aren’t proportionately grotesque like today’s! xx

  3. He is the master of pin up, dievca. You picked a good man to study. I must share this post with a WP friend of mine who can tell you all about Gil. (if you wish to know more…I think his muse was frequently his own wife…and may be featured in this post…) -Ret

    • dievca says:

      I would have to look up who his muses were, that is fantastic that one of the muses is/was his wife — please share that post from your friend who is passionate about Gil Elvgren
      (and feel free to share a link whenever you want to!) XO

      • I have. And I imagine you’ll hear from him, soon.

      • This just in from my pin up connection over at the Muscleheaded blog…

        Janet Cummins ( Janet Rae ) was his wife, and most popular model…. she’s the gal in the second to last photo with her foot in the air sporting the red pumps… how lovely to bee seen by an artist each day and how flattering his eye…must have made for some amazing foreplay and long and satisfying relationship.

      • dievca says:

        You know — before you even said anything, I always thought that painting was the the most true to its photo. It makes sense, he loved what he saw and he knew it intimately, no embellishment needed. Sigh – I would need the embellishment. 😀
        Thank you, Ret and

      • don’t be so hard on yourself dievca! He made- let’s call them adjustments- to her form…notice the slimming of the ankle, the lengthening of limb, etc…but he captured her spirit and I think, above all, that is what comes thru in his work. He loves a woman’s curves, yes, but he loves who she is, not just the object she is…would we call her his muse, his lover, his model, his wife, all of the above?

  4. hispetitelle says:

    Actually, I don’t think the artist made too many adjustments to the models at all. He stayed very close to proportions, unlike today’s photo shopped atrocities. I see the artist’s touches as more of enhancements.

    • dievca says:

      I agree! I really liked to see the comparison between the live/painting and you can tell who the people are — not too much artistic license. Quite amazing, actually.

  5. BoPeep says:

    What a fascinating study dievca! I absolutely love the real life photos and how Gil uses the light almost exactly the same way in his paintings. His paintings are delightful, and yes, he does slightly elongate his models in paint, but that is his vision of them.Thank you!

    • dievca says:

      From what I read — Gil Elvgren spent a great deal of time being very detail oriented on setting up the model photos and you can see that he really followed the vision he set-up while painting. The good news is that I think M. sees me as more elongated than I am, too. XO

  6. mrmodigliani says:

    Omg love love love. This hits very close to home for me. Thank you dievca

    • dievca says:

      You are very welcome. Actually, Gil Elvgren was the reason for yesterday’s post, initially. He started the process and when I found a couple of the model/painting graphics – it became really fun. 🙂

  7. wonderful post– thank you !!

  8. As much as I love (good) porn, there are few ways appreciation for the female form has ever been better illustrated than 1950s pin-up art.


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