Study of a Seated Nude Woman, 1963
© Alberto Vargas/Max Vargas Estate

Study of a Seated Nude Woman, 1963

By Alberto Vargas
About the image

This is an original pencil & colored pencil drawing on tracing paper which served as the basis for the final design that appeared in the May, 1963 issue of Playboy Magazine.

This pose was another likely favorite of Alberto Vargas', since a very similar portrait appeared as the September 1947 page in the Esquire Calendar. The differences between them are slight, but clearly represent the different eras in which they were drawn. In the 1940s image the model is barefoot in a bathing suit, looking a bit forlorn - as though missing her beau, a common theme at the time. In the later version, and as seen here, the model is peeking up at the viewer suggestively and is holding her clothing in her hand, as if she has just finished undressing.

Interstingly, both were published with the image flipped - with the model facing to the left in the publications.

Collector's Notes:
This is a preliminary drawing used to propose a new Vargas Girl for an upcoming edition of Playboy Magazine.  

For each published piece, Vargas would first sketch a preliminary design such as this one for approval. He would ship several to Playboy's main offices where Hugh Hefner and the Art Directors would review each one. Once approved, they would be returned to Vargas and he would then use them to create an entirely new finished artwork for use in the magazine.  

Although these drawings are not typically signed - as they are working designs rather than finished pieces - they do often feature handwriting from Alberto Vargas and/or notes from Playboy's Art Directors (Art Paul or Reid Austin) regarding colors, accessories, positioning etc. Occasionally Hugh Hefner has personally initialed and dated the piece, giving his final approval for the magazine.

These drawings are magnificent artifacts from the process of publishing the legendary Vargas Girl.

Ref# SK-418

22" x 30" Artwork Size
Pencil & colored pencil drawing
Original artwork - 

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Study of a Seated Nude Woman, 1963
Study of a Seated Nude Woman, 1963

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