Frazetta swiped from the best

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36 Responses to “Frazetta swiped from the best”

  1. Meanwhile most of his peers couldn’t make a move without hiring a live, costumed model. Frazetta could paint someone dynamically off balance, mid-leap.

  2. Ambiguity says:

    It’s just a coincidence. There are only a limited number of poses a human body can make, and this is a common one.

    • Sparg says:

       Yup, you hack enough bodies, some are going to fall that way.

    • redesigned says:

      i’m pretty sure you were joking, but i wanted to add:

      no coincidence,  way too many key tells.  even duplicated inaccuracies, the human leg isn’t muscled to bulge like that.  i bet if analyzed many of the other figures were referenced from other sources.  in art this isn’t swiping, artists often use posed figurines, anatomical drawings, and yes, even other art, as reference when creating new pieces.

      this is a good thing.  what artist wasn’t inspired by the countless artists before them?  we stand on the backs of giants.

    • DewiMorgan says:

       I’ve just had a horrible thought.

      Perhaps all the world’s most despicable genocides were perpetrated by disparaged artists. Perhaps Hitler himself was told, as a budding artist, “You copied that corpse’s pose!”

      And perhaps he replied “It’s just a coincidence. There are only a limited number of poses a human body can fall in, and this is a common one.”

      Only, in Austrian. Obviously.

      And perhaps he then set out to prove himself right…

  3. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    It’s a rather small swipe in a large composition, and numerous things have been changed. At worst he copied the pose of one minor figure into an entirely different context.  I wouldn’t blame Frank at all for this.  It’s interesting and surprising to see one of his influences.

  4. Fever Plata says:

    For me the cool thing about the swipe is that given the time when it was done, he probably had to do it from a sketch from either a visit to the museum or a small picture reproduction, and yet it’s pretty spot on. Cool find. Have you found any other swipes from Frazetta?

  5. Teller says:

    Detail from “Les Porteurs de Mauvaises Nouvelles,” by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ.
    Detail from “Conan the Destroyer,” by Frank Frazetta.

    Love that caption, Mark. Art marches on.

  6. jere7my says:

    Somewhat relatedly, this cover painting from UK gaming mag White Dwarf borrows just a bit from one of the most famous images of Raquel Welch:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jere7my/3402600135/

    • Ambiguity says:

       It’s just a coincidence. There are only a limited number of positions that large, gravity-defying breasts can assume, and this is a common one.

    • princeminski says:

      I wonder how many more people have seen the Raquel Welch poster than have seen “Les Porteurs des Mauvaises Nouvelles” (which I couldn’t keep in my memory long enough to type it)? Not a value judgment, but Frazetta was smart enough to swipe something that most of his viewers would be unlikely to spot.

  7. viggy says:

    Good artists copy, great artists steal. Picasso

  8. saurabh says:

    One of my best friends is an artist trained in the pre-Raphaelite way, and a big fan of Frazetta’s. It’s quite normal for him to make paintings or drawings  that copy from other artists, taking a figure or the general composition of a painting from Rubens or Titian or some such. This is normal. This is how artists learn, and this is how they show reverence for the principles established by masters of previous eras. The modern idea that this kind of stuff is “theft” or anything other than normal practice is ridiculous and anti-human.

    Orhan Pamuk’s “My Name is Red” discusses this subject (amongst others), describing the world of Middle Eastern miniaturists. There, the ethic was to copy as exactly as possible the works and styles of the revered masters of previous eras, and *deviation* from that style was considered to be the heresy and crime of the artist.

    • redesigned says:

      “The modern idea that this kind of stuff is “theft” or anything other than normal practice is ridiculous and anti-human.”

      This is so relevant to our times.  Almost everything wonderful that has ever been created by man was created on top of the countless ideas and creations that came before it…very little if anything has truly ever been created in a vacuum devoid of outside influence, technique, knowledge.

      I beleive that the idea that you can lock and own an idea is a bigger theft from the commons then any supposed theft of infringers of said idea.

      my new commercial:  you wouldn’t steal something from everyone would you?

    • redesigned says:

      “The modern idea that this kind of stuff is “theft” or anything other than normal practice is ridiculous and anti-human.”

      This is so relevant to our times.  Almost everything wonderful that has ever been created by man was created on top of the countless ideas and creations that came before it…very little if anything has truly ever been created in a vacuum devoid of outside influence, technique, knowledge.

      I beleive that the idea that you can lock and own an idea is a bigger theft from the commons then any supposed theft of infringers of said idea.

      my new commercial:  you wouldn’t steal something from everyone would you?

  9. angusm says:

    Now I’m curious. I had simply assumed that all artists built up a collection of reference images that they could refer to when they needed to solve a problem in composition or technique, for inspiration, or whatever. Is that not the case?

    Good artists copy, great artists steal, but really great artists steal from the very best.

    • franko says:

      yep — back in the day it was called a “clip file”.

    • jimh says:

       Oh, absolutely- and in school I was encouraged to build as large and varied a swipe file as I could, from magazines and art reproductions, to do just that. We were actually chastised if we DIDN’T use reference materials for our work, and not many of us had time/resources to get live models to sit for us before our deadlines.

      All of this needs to be considered in today’s heavily litigious copyright environment. Shepard Fairey, there but for the grace of the FSM go I…

    • Sheryl says:

      Absolutely. I have a huge collection of reference images (mostly digital now) and use them all the time. Even if I’m drawing or sculpting a completely made up creature I’ll reference real animals for individual features or skin/fur/etc. textures. Every artist I know does the same. I think there is a big difference between referencing other works or photos as Frazetta did and direct copying of an entire piece, but not everyone shares that view.

    • Sheryl says:

      Absolutely. I have a huge collection of reference images (mostly digital now) and use them all the time. Even if I’m drawing or sculpting a completely made up creature I’ll reference real animals for individual features or skin/fur/etc. textures. Every artist I know does the same. I think there is a big difference between referencing other works or photos as Frazetta did and direct copying of an entire piece, but not everyone shares that view.

  10. bgoggin says:

    It’s just a coincidence. There are only a limited number of poses a human body can make, and this is a common one. – Someone had to do it.

    • angusm says:

      Someone else already did. But that’s probably a coincidence too. There are only a limited number of possible replies that can be made to any topic, and this is a common one.

  11. Coincidence.  If Frazetta spent an infinite amount of time painting chimpanzees at typewriters, one of those chimps would produce the complete works of Robert E. Howard.

    • Okay, now my mind is boggled.  Immediately after typing that comment, I went back to my blogroll, and the second headline immediately after this one is “5 Things you Might not Know about John Milius’ “Conan the Barbarian” from the Playlist.

      THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES.

  12. liquidstar says:

    Used to pore over his work alot as a kid;  and that pose always stuck out to me as different.  Now I know why!  Though, to be honest I disliked that figure and thought it was weak compared to the other poses.   Perhaps because it wasn t as superhumanly fleshed out.  Also, hasn’t this painting gone through an iteration or two? – Mr. Frazetta liked to rework some of his paintings.

  13. lecti says:

    “There are only a limited number of poses a human body can make, and this is a common one.”

    Like how one’s arm bends behind the back in the family guy whenever someone gets messed up.

  14. Tim says:

    Another interesting Raquel knock-off by Playboy Paperback’s ‘The Beasts of Hades’

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pulpcrush/7201912268/

  15. Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing – Salvador Dali

  16. iread2 says:

    Beg, borrow, steal. Make that deadline! 
    All Art, all culture is plagiarism.
    Frazetta was Da Man!

  17. This was also common, if you look at Manet and other classical artist you will see many artists copied poses and re did famous paintings…

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