Dantés Inferno, 1934
© Alberto Vargas/Max Vargas Estate

Dantés Inferno, 1934

By Alberto Vargas
About the image

Despite having his name synonymous with pinup art, Alberto Vargas was also a prolific set designer for over a decade. In 1927, he supplemented his income from the Ziegfeld Follies in the art department at Paramount Pictures in New York. When the Follies closed in 1931, he was forced to rely more heavily on this work.

Toward the end of 1934 Alberto was offered a commission doing thirteen portraits of Fox Studio's major female stars. When he had finished, he was encouraged to stay on and work in Fox's art department. Unfortunately, this only lasted a few short months before Fox Studios became 20th Century Fox and with the merger came a thinning out of staff.

He went on to a lengthy tenure at Warner Bros., working as a set designer on many of their most celebrated films, including The Sea Hawk and Elizabeth and Essex. Before the decade was over, Vargas had worked at all the major studios.

Dante's Inferno starring Spencer Tracy, was released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1935, it had been produced right before the merger when Alberto and the rest of the excess staff were let go. It was best remembered for a 10 minute scene depicting Hell, conceptualized by the director Harry Lachman, who was himself an established Post-Impressionist painter. Vargas' painting appears to similarly capture a depiction of Hell, and was likely a proposal or concept piece related to this film completed during production.

Ref # (SD-06)

9" x 9" Artwork Size
Watercolor & Gouache Painting on board
Original artwork - Available for resale!

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Dantés Inferno, 1934
Dantés Inferno, 1934

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