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Alberto Vargas: Works from the Max Vargas Collection [Hardcover]

Hugh Hefner , Reid Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Sep 2006
This stunning, authorized collection of works by legendary illustrator Vargas includes a large number of previously unpublished paintings and drawings. This is the first book on Vargas in more than a decade.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Springboard Press (20 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821257927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821257920
  • Product Dimensions: 33.7 x 26.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Reid Stewart Austin is an expert on the work of Alberto Vargas. He wrote the bestselling biography of Vargas in 1978 in collaboration with the artist, and is also the author of Varga: The Esquire Years (1987), as well as several articles on the artist for Playboy and other national US magazines. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 29 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
Beautiful record of the span and range of Vargas' work from the 20s to the 70s. Many of the images contained are "studies" - versions of some of the poses that went on to be Varga Girl pin-ups, but as the book says, a lot of these studies are more beautiful than then versions used in the magazine. This book shows very clearly how Vargas perfected his Art very early on in his life, any while he never lost it, to which his Legacy pieces are testament, he was forced to compromise it heavily for both Esquire and Playboy. His best work by far is that which was removed from his work for the magazines which made him famous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alberto Vargus a short review. 28 Dec 2011
By chas
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A short review of this fine book,the book is quite large in size, which allows some really nice size reproductions. It showcases a large number of his best works.Mostly pre finish paintings,pictures done before the finished version. None the less marvellous, A fine book for anyone interested in the work of Alberto Vargus.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE LEGEND THAT IS VARGAS 18 Feb 2007
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There are a few legitimate greats, legends of the pin-up and glamour art world whose names are synonymous with style and perfection. There's Rolf Armstrong, Zoe Mozert, Gil Elvgren, and, perhaps the greatest of them all, Alberto Vargas. Vargas first came to notoriety in 1919 when he was hired by the Ziegfeld Follies to paint portraits of the various Follies Revue stars. He would work for several years producing pinups for Esquire Magazine but it was his work for Playboy Magazine beginning in 1960 that made him a legend. The Vargas page in Playboy would become a regular feature for the next decade and a half.

This book contains an eclectic assortment of Vargas art beginning with the earliest work in 1914 and running up through 1975, over sixty years worth of work. It is indeed fascinating to compare his works from the twenties to those of the sixties and seventies. Despite the changes in fashion, hairstyles, and even facial expressions, Vargas' work always had an innate sensuality to them.

The names of the Follies women aren't remembered by most people today but women like Olive Thomas and Nita Nadli were the starlets of their era. His work in the thirties included paintings of Hollywood stars as well movie posters. His subjects included a young Shirley Temple and the sultry Marlene Dietrich.

Several examples of Vargas' sketches are shown partnered with the finished paintings so one can see the progression and changes made along the way. There are a number of two-page spreads in the book such as "Cordillera De Los Andes" a wonderful nude spread of a sexy blonde lying face down. It is simple, yet remarkable erotic. "Blonde Venus" is yet another fantastic 1950's nude spread.

The first Vargas painting from Playboy included in the book is from December 1960 and shows a buxom nude redhead in a pink negligee twisting almost impossibly over her left shoulder to look at the reader. The thing that strikes me about Vargas' paintings, particularly the Playboy paintings, is the way the girls seem to look at you, and you alone with those big, watery eyes. It's no wonder he became so popular with the Vargas page.

The book is a beautifully produced, over-sized hardcover with some 100 full-color illustrations. Highly recommended for all fans of pin-up or glamour art, or those that just appreciate the female form.

Reviewed by Tim Janson
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alberto Vargas more in text than artwork 9 Dec 2008
By J. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I buy a book of an artist work I'm buying it for his artwork not his biography. Sure some background info is a good thing but I would have rather seen more of his work. If I want his biography I'll go buy it but I'm more interested in the pin-up art. The works that are represented are nice but far from definitive of his decades of art. If I had to do it all over again I'd buy the book but for 10 dollars cheaper, because I wanted art not text... and so 3 stars
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just breathtaking... 7 Jun 2007
By A. Gochis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and reading about Alberto Vargas, his work, his relationships with his publisher(s) and his wife. The man was an amazing talent. The size of these illustrations were incredible, sorry to see a seam going down the middle ... If I could I'd take them out and hang them in poster frames!

I wish there were even more drawings to enjoy.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vargas at his best 10 Mar 2007
By Clifford E. Carney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book. Lots of history about Alberto Vargas and his continued struggle to make it in the art world. Well he did make it and how.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but the best ever done 19 Dec 2006
By D. A. MARTINEZ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of the life and work from alberto Vargas.

Very big edition, well written, and with a reasonable price. Sadly, it could have included more of his artwork; but at this moment is the best and biggest compilation from his work that I have found.

Very good for a perfect gift or if you are a pin-up fan from the 30's to 70's
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