Boxing Day by Gil Elvgren

The holiday time has long been a subject for pin-up artists. No stranger to making pin-ups celebrating the season is the legendary artist Gil Elvgren.

Many pin-up fans don’t know that one of Elvgren’s mentors was the Finnish painter Haddon Sundblom. While working for a time at a Chicago ad agency, Gil Elvgren worked under Sundlom on a number of marketing campaigns. It was around this time that Sundblom used the imagery of Santa Claus in marketing paintings for Coca-Cola. Perhaps Elvgren was influenced towards depicting his future pin-up models celebrating Christmas because of Sundblom’s work.

Using Boxing Day as the subject of this work, Gil Elvgren created another one of his so-called “pretty girl” artworks while also giving the holidays a bit of soft sensuality. The hearth besides the roaring fire won’t endear the pin-up model with any fire chiefs, but the fine detail in her stockings, the softer shade of her black lace against her skin, and the rosiness of her cheeks will make an impression with any onlookers.

Elvgren’s pin-up woman in his painting is Myrna Hansen, winner of the 1955 Miss USA pageant, runner-up to that year’s Miss Universe title, and a background glam Hollywood actress.

Check out more pin-ups made by Gil Elvgren in our collection including some from other Christmases of the past.

classic pin up girl

Artist: Gil Elvgren


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