A rare surviving pastel by the prolific and inventive early pin up artist James Ross Bryson. Bryson defined Art Nouveau feminine beauty with his Edwardian views of corseted and lavishly attired, erotic, and bold anti-Victorian maidens. An early star staff artist for the Thos. D. Murphy calendar company, his work also appeared in postcards and advertising and magazine covers. Bryson's strong use of color, and stylized depictions of feminine glamour were heavily influential on art deco pastel artists like Rolf Armstrong, Earl Moran, and Zoe Mozert.
The Bryson girl, one of the most risque ideals of early 20th century feminine beauty, can be seen hanging in numerous bordello rooms in Storyville, the red light district in New Orleans. E. J. Bellocq, an unexceptional commercial photographer who lived in New Orleans shortly after the turn of the century, chronicled working girls in brothels, and Bryson pastels frequently appear in the background of these photographs. Original pastel works by J. Ross Bryson rarely come on the market, though vintage lithographs and calendars featuring images by the artist are hotly collected. This rare work is sold with a printed 1911 postcard featuring the published image which was created in 1907.