Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Atherton Challenges Varady

Recently we looked at Frederic Varady's exciting graphic illustration treatments in early 1950's issues of Woman's Home Companion.

But Cosmopolitan magazine art director Robert C. Atherton must have challenged Varady to really pull out the stops -- and the results are even more bold and, I suspect, personal.

Varady had a background in fashion illustration in Paris before he came to New York to do commercial art. You can see that influence, I think, in the stylish and graphic quality of the line technique he employed for this - and other assignments for Cosmo.

Varady was extremely popular with all the magazine ADs, most often doing fully painted illustrations. But I find his painting style always looks a little overwrought and "precious", if you get my meaning. Atherton seems to have felt the same way (I have not found any painted Varady illustrations in Cosmo). Clearly, he challenged Varady to play to his own strengths.

From everything I've seen, the results were consistently spectacular.

There are several other examples of the artist's work in my Frederic Varady Flickr set.


  1. His illustrations looks very different if you are thinking in those times, the ’50s, nice.


  2. O acervo é maravilhoso e a página não fica por menos.

  3. Great illustrations, cheers leifp!

  4. Thank you all for your comments! :-)

  5. I'm happy to know my uncle Fritzi (Frederic) Varady's works are so highly regarded today. Some auction houses list him as American 1908 and actually he was born in Budapest, Hungary.