Revere Auctions
Live Auction

January Day 2: Postwar & Contemporary Art

Wed, Jan 25, 2023 11:00AM EST
Lot 468

Earl Moran Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Oil on Canvas

Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
Earl Moran (American, 1893-1984). Oil on canvas painting depicting a pin-up nude Marilyn Monroe against a green background. Signed along the lower right quadrant. Moran, one of the most renowned pin-up artists of his time, generally worked exclusively in pastels and rarely painted oil paintings. This work is one of the best examples of his depiction of Marilyn Monroe, posed bathed in sunlight on a cushion.

Moran's association with Monroe began in February 1946 when Blue Book Agency sent young Norma Jean Baker to his studio. He paid her $10 an hour to pose for him and she quickly became on of his favorite subjects to paint. He thought that she could pose better than any other model and said in a later interview, "Emotionally she did everything right. She expressed just what I wanted." When they last met in 1954 on the set of "There's No Business Like Show Business" she hugged him and told him that she loved the way that he made her look.

Moran studied at the Chicago Art Institute before moving on to the famed Art Students League in Manhatten where he learned from Vincent Drumond, Robert Henri, Thomas Fogarty, and George Bridgman. He eventually signed an exclusive contract to paint for the calendar company Brown and Bigelow in 1932. In 1940 Life magazine ran a feature titled "Speaking of Pictures" which focused almost solely on Moran's work. This launched him to the status of a national celebrity and he eventually moved to Hollywood in 1946 to paint celebrities including Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe. Around 1955 he moved to Las Vegas to devote his time to fine-art subjects with a focus on nude portraits. He would go on to paint until 1982 when his eyesight failed him.

Sight; height: 39 3/4 in x width: 29 1/2 in. Framed; height: 45 1/4 in x width: 35 in.


The painting is in overall good condition with no major losses, tears, or restorations when inspected under UV light. The colors are bold and bright. There are a few minor paint losses the the painting; two small spots along the lower center, one small spot on the figure's stomach, and several small spots to the green background. Some wear to the frame; framed under plexiglass; not inspected out of frame. Please contact us for a detailed condition report. Please note that the lack of a condition statement does not imply perfect condition. Email with any condition questions.

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