Edward Eggleston's Evening Star
Evening Star is a large and important painting by Edward Eggleston, which was published by the Louis F. Dow Calendar Company in 1929. The image shows a towering seated contemplative Indian Princess captured in a Maxfield Parrish-like surrealist and pleasing yet electric color scheme. In 1931, Maxfield Parrish famously declared "I am done with girls on rocks", and the close inspiration Eggleston took from Parrish for the style and subject of this artwork testifies to how wildly popular that subject was at the time.
The Indian Maiden in Illustration
The idealized Indian Maiden was a tremendously popular theme for illustrators throughout the early 20th century, and became a veritable fad in the late 1920s and 1930s. Native Americans were used as a symbol of a pre-industrial world, and Indian Maidens in particular were meant to personify a natural sensualism which women born to western culture weren't supposed to possess. As the machine age drastically changed American culture in the 1920s, and then the stock market crash of 1929 brought the dark side of American modernism to the front, calendar art looked backwards and outward.
Illustrations featuring exotic fantasy-themed, ethereal and breezy images Indian Maidens, harem attired pin-up girls, Egyptian goddesses, and mythical nudes. Edward Eggleston seems to have taken that declaration as direct inspiration for much of his calendar work.
Edward Eggleston as Artist
Eggleston is best remembered today for his Atlantic City Resort advertising posters of the 1930s which all featured stylized opulent bathing beauty pin-up girls. This is just a remarkable work of art and certainly one of the finest surviving Eggleston paintings to come on the market. Painting is in excellent condition and has been relined and is handsomely framed in it's original carved wood gold frame. The artist has been mis-identified on the verso as Benjamin Eggleston, but this is the work of Edward Eggleston. Evening Star appears on page 28 of
Lady of Mystery; A Collectors Guide To Edward Eggleston by Norman Platnick.