This is a large preliminary charcoal drawing by Gil Elvgren, a study for the Brown & Bigelow pin-up calendar painting published in 1956 with the title Fit To Be Tied. This comes from a collection of Elvgren preliminary graphite drawings that we acquired which were found in a house in Sarasota, Florida where the artist once lived. Gil Elvgren took, on average, one week to complete each of the 400+ pin-up paintings he created for Brown and Bigelow. With this time frame, it was impossible to use a live model for the actual paintings so Elvgren sketched quick charcoal and/or graphite reference preliminary ideas from life and enlisted Peter Darro (a pin-up artist in his own right) as studio assistant and photographer. Elvgren used these drawings and photographs for reference while at the easel working on his iconic pin-up paintings. Included for reference is a scan of the calendar image. We do not have a copy of the print to include but vintage examples are readily available on eBay.
There is some overall tanning to the paper with losses along the edges, handling creases, and signs of age related wear. Most issues are not visible as matted.