Frank Frazetta's record-breaking masterpiece tops $1 million
A masterpiece by the science fiction and fantasy artist Frank Frazetta has set a stunning new world record in Dallas.
Regarded as "the master of modern fantasy art", Frazetta began his career in the 1950s as a comic strip artist, before helping redefine the sword and sorcery genre in the 1960s with his Conan the Barbarian book covers.
Today Frazetta is recognized as a member of both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, and his original work is highly sought-after by collectors.
The painting offered at Heritage, dating from 1974, was originally created as the paperback cover artwork for the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs novel At the Earth's Core.
Burroughs' story was initially published as a serial in 1914, in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly, before being collected as a single novel in 1922.
It was one of several early works republished to great success in the 1970s, in the midst of a boom for the fantasy genre which was spurred in no small way by Frazetta's influential and popular artworks.
Having remained in Frazetta's personal collection, and hung in the Frazetta Museum for many years, the large painting – regarded as one of his finest – sold for $1,075,500, marking the first time one of his paintings has fetched a seven-figure sum.
"If you are a collector of Mr. Frazetta's vision and talent, this is the painting to have," said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "It represents everything he did so well, from painting the female form to depicting realistic monsters and cliffhanger scenarios."
"Heritage has a strong reputation of getting top dollar for Frazetta artworks, and this painting surpassed our previous record by more than double its auction price," added Hignite.
"We expected strong interest, partly because At The Earth's Core is significantly larger than virtually every painting we've ever auctioned by the artist."
The record sale of At the Earth's Core marked the end of a strong week for Frazetta's work. A Profiles in History sale on July 30 had seen his original 1966 Eerie Magazine cover painting 'Sea Witch' sell for $750,000 - setting an auction record which lasted for all of seven days.
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