The Fairest Flower is a deliriously sexy rare surviving nude pin-up pastel by Zoe Mozert created for The Brown & Bigelow Calendar Company. In 1941, after a prolific decade long career as a leading pulp and movie magazine cover illustrator, Zoe Mozert signed on as a staff artist with Brown & Bigelow where she quickly established herself as one of the finest pin up artists in America. Confident and attractive, Mozert often used herself as her own model, and The Fairest Flower is in fact a self portrait of sorts. The artist’s uninhibited nature, along with her quick tongue and biting sarcastic wit, endeared her to many and alienated her from many more, but even those who found her off-putting found themselves awed by her beauty and talent. This pastel is by all means one of the artist’s defining and most important works, a young nude captured in light and shadow against a cobalt blue dramatic setting, a fresh to the market Arizona estate find. The art is handsomely framed under glass in a period, carved limed wood frame in a pristine state of original conservation.
The artist known as Zoe Mozert was born Alice Adelaide Moser and studied with Howard Pyle. She moved to New York in 1932 and found steady work there, in the late thirties she was sought after as a movie poster artist. She painted Jane Russell for the Howard Hughes film, The Outlaw. She painted a series of wildly circulated “Victory Girl” calendar mailing cards during World War II. The artist typically worked in pastel and captured an innocence in the female form that was unique to a woman figure model and artist.