Thursday, April 16, 2009

Inspired by Bolles?

The instant I saw the photo of Lillian Roth on the blog site The Flapper Girl my mental rolodex of Bolles images started spinning. Of course I must confess there certainly have been a number of occasions where I've have tried to force a link between a Bolles painting and some other image where there really wasn't one, but in this case the association strikes me as anything but incidental. First, the Bolles image takes precedence; it's from a 1925 issue of Film Fun and you may well recall that I featured it and the original painting in a recent post. On the other hand the photo of Lillian comes from a 1930 issue of Photoplay. Second, there are just too many similarities between the two images, down to the way the photo is cropped around Lillian's feet. We shouldn't make too much out of the match between the bathing costumes because that style was pretty much the only option for beach wear back then.
It's not just me who has noticed that Bolles was a source of inspiration for Hollywood publicity photographers. In its latter years the editors of Film Fun would occasionally run a photo of a starlet side by side with the cover art that obviously inspired her pose, and one of these days I'll get around to posting a few examples. Curiously, the editors never credited Enoch Bolles as the source of the photographer's inspiration or even bothered to mention his name.
I found this photo at Movie Maidens and just had to add it to the mix. I really wonder what's going on here. The pose can't be considered standard by any means, or can it?


M said...

This illustration is also similar in style:

Jack R said...

Mariana, I should have predicted that you, of all people, would find yet another match :)
Thanks for sharing this great illustration.

Operator_99 said...
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Anonymous said...

Another place to see Bolles influence would be Nose Art. There's a group in flickr (probably more) with a good set for your detective skills :)

Nose ArtI'm trying to get uptodate with you blog, just arrived to March 2009...

Jack R said...

Hi Kyriu,
You know I've never seen a Bolles painting reproduced as nose art. He did some very WW-II style pin-ups but it seems like Vargas was the go-to artist. Now I was told that one of the planes that was accompanying the Enola Gay had a Bolles girl painted on her (the cowgirl) but I've never been able to confirm the story. If you ever see an example of vintage Bolles nose art, please let me know.