Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Couples by J Frederick Smith

No reservations for Esquire (1948)

Whilst looking for pictures for my recent posts on J Frederick Smith (here and here) we came across a series of his illustrations for (mainly) women's magazines.  Whilst not overtly erotic we though that many of them have a nice simmering sensuality about them and so we thought that they were worth posting here.

Smith manages to imbue his figures with a great deal of character.  Often the expressions on their faces can tell all sorts of tales but, of course, most were illustrations for particular stories.  This TV studio one is a wonder of simmering emotion! 

Who wouldn't want a girl in a gingham playsuit?

This one is very Mad Men.  Agent Triple P loves the candlestick!

Here are a couple of historical illustrations.  The bottom one is Helen of Troy.

This one is all very film noir.  You just know that she is a bad girl.

Bill Theiss, the Star Trek costume designer, once said that the sexiness of a costume was entirely dependent on the extent that it looked like it was about to fall off.

Here is a young girl and an older man.  Father and daughter or man and mistress?

All sorts of power games in this one.  We don't think we would ever risk getting a young lady's attention by pulling at her earring!

This one is called  Now What?  What is going on behind the rocks?

Like the one above it, this one dates also from around 1950 and goes under the title Some Day I'll love you.   It was first published in Colliers magazine which, presumably was not a journal for miners.

A different approach to handling skin tone here in the rather racy The Checkered blanket, also from around 1950.

Even more racy is this breakfast in bed shot from a time when respectable couples all wore nightwear in bed.

It must be hard to concentrate on your book when you have a girl with killer cheekbones clad only in a shirt draping herself around you.

It looks like the start of some frenzied undressing but who is at the door?  Surely not her husband?

Although Smith switched to photography in  the mid-fifties he kept his painting eye in by continuing to do occasional illustrations like these ones from Cosmopolitan from the mid-eighties.  Smith died in 2006 at the age of  88 but his Vancouver-born wife, Sheila Beckett, who was also an illustrator, primarily of children's book and magazines, is still drawing (now using Photoshop!) at the age of 98!

1 comment:

  1. Those are fun pictures! I really enjoyed them--they bring on a smile! :)