One of Frank Frazetta’s most famous paintings, A Princess of Mars (1970), sold for a Martian’s ransom at Heritage Auctions for a sum of $1.2 million. Frazetta’s painting for the 1970 Doubleday hardcover edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first John Carter of Mars novel is one of the artist’s most iconic images and helped inspired the original Star Wars poster by Tom Jung.
Frazetta initially painted this version of the original because he feared that the publisher wouldn’t return the original art, which ended up being even more detailed than the one used on the book cover (and Doubleday actually ended up returning his original, which sold at Christie’s Auction House in 1993).
Heritage Auction’s Nadia Mannarino described the subtle differences between the two painting in the auction listing, saying that “At first glance, the two images look exactly alike, but if examined further, one can notice the subtle differences. The figure of John Carter of Mars, is essentially identical to the published version. Dejah Thoris’ face in both paintings is oval and beautiful, with a shock of coal black hair, devoid of any clothing save some jewelry and ornaments. Also, in this painting, Dejah’s stance is more upright, indicating her prowess and confidence, and depicting a stronger woman. The breast plate and jewelry in this painting are more ornate, and the planets are much more defined.”
Last year, Frazetta’s Egyptian Queen painting sold for a record $5.4 million for Heritage Auctions.
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