Friday, May 9, 2014

Family Tree: Constantin Alajálov Preliminary New Yorker Cover Art

Whether you call it a study as Bonhams did or you call it preliminary cover art as I do here, there's something unusual about Constantin Alajálov's drawing of a dog family tree. It is a finished drawing certainly, apparently suitable for publication, yet very closely related to the New Yorker's cover for February 12, 1938. It is rendered in pencil and black ink without color. I have not seen any preliminary cover art for the New Yorker quite like this. My conjecture is that this was intended by the artist to be a drawing inside the magazine—possibly it could even support a caption spoken by the dog standing outside the family tree. Instead, Alajálov must have been asked to recreate it as a color cover. Of note, it sold at auction for a higher price than some original cover art has.

Constantin Alajálov, Preliminary art
The New Yorker, February 12, 1938
Constantin Alajálov, The New Yorker, February 12, 1938

Constantin Alajálov, Preliminary art, The New Yorker, February 12, 1938

Note:  Read more on this blog about artist Constantin Alajálov.

Read more here about preliminary New Yorker cover art. You know you want to.

The real reason for the high sale price? Cute dogs. Click on the link to see more dogs.


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