Published: August 6, 2018
DALLAS — Bids by nearly 30 collectors drove the final price for Frank Frazetta’s “Escape on Venus,” painting original art, 1972, to $660,000, including the buyer’s premium, as the top lot in Heritage Auctions’ comics and comic art auction August 2-4. The strong return was the third-highest total ever paid through Heritage Auctions for a Frazetta painting—his “Death Dealer 6” painting original art (1990) brought a record $1,792,500 in May 2018, and his “At The Earth’s Core,” paperback cover painting original art (1974) brought $1,075,500. “Escape on Venus” was used as the cover of the 1974 re-issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name, and also was released as a print later in the 1970s.
Known for his ability to depict sensuous, strong women in fantastic environments, Frazetta loved to challenge himself, which often meant varying his technique and palette. This technique is part of the explanation for his ability to help observers direct their focus where he wanted. In this case, the brightly colored tiger, with its piercing yellow-green eyes, and the knife-wielding woman draped in jewels draw the viewer’s attention, while the trees and plants around the borders of the painting are done in more subtle, muted earth tones, which only increases the focus on the woman and tiger in the middle of the image.
A full review of this auction will appear in a future issue.
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