This gouache on illustration board painting was created and used as cover art for Naked Sinner, the 1959 “savage novel of a wild call girl and her shocking immoral affairs”. Certainly this sultry illustration ranks as one of the highlights of the lurid and steamy hard not to pick up consumer driven style used by sleaze paperback publishers in the late 1950s. Naked Sinner was published by the Bedside Book imprint of Greenleaf Classics. Greenleaf was the infamous publishing house run by William L. Hamling which remained a hub of controversy from the 1950s-1970s for testing the boundaries of protected first amendment through its advertising, selling and publication of adult books of erotic literature.
Many of the leading illustrators of paperback covers worked for Greenleaf, including Robert MacGuire, Basil Gogos, Lou Marchetti, Victor Olson, and Harold McCauley. Though many leading scholars of mid century adult illustration have pondered who the talent behind this remarkably seductive and well-executed work is, we have yet to be able to come to a conclusion.
To our eyes, this mystery only adds to the hypnotic allure of this original artwork. Piece is nicely framed and comes with a published copy of the book.