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Hero Worship – Coles Phillips

January 7, 2013

Coles Phillips was active in the early part of the 20th century. His signature “fade-away” style plays with background and foreground and leaves the viewer to put it all together. It was developed at the request of Life magazine, which had asked Phillips to invent a new look for their covers. I’d say he fulfilled that assignment well.  I love his highly graphic and stylized look. Some examples follow…showing his style and the usual assortment of pretty girls.

Life, April 7 1921, “In A Position To Know”

(Novel)The Siege of the Seven Suitors – 1910

Good Housekeeping – I don’t see a date, do you?

Good Housekeeping, February 1917

I’m thinking of Phillips now since I’m working more with toned grounds, and letting that tone stand in for the mid values, as many artists have done, especially in chalk studies.  Phillips took that convention and pushed it to a very stylish conclusion.

Leonardo Da Vinci – Study of Hands

Jean-Honore Fragonard- Studies of Women

Peter Paul Rubens – Isabella Brant

Links to more examples and information on Coles Phillips

JVJ Publishing

American Art Archives

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandra Williams permalink
    February 13, 2013 2:31 pm

    I have always loved this Rubens portrait. He captured the expression so amazingly with so little!


  1. Coles Phillips’ Illustrations For Holeproof Hosiery | Retrorambling

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