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Lejaren Hiller



On offer is a remarkable published pulp cover painting by Lejaren Hiller (American, 1880-1969), titled Absinthe, for Flynn's Weekly Detective Fiction Magazine - April 21, 1928. Between 1924 and 1939, the artist created hundreds of covers for this long running title, and this is among the most captivating. The image showcases an up-to-the-minute smoking flapper girl feeling strangely fine as the hallucinogenic effects of the bottle of absinthe she has just consumed wash over her body, soul and mind. To further the hedonistic mood, smoke plumes seductively drift off into the cafe where she is seated. The setting evokes the fast-living expatriate Americans who took to Paris after World War I, escaping prohibition and their own demons. We found an interesting visual from the Elspeth Brown book The Corporate Eye, which examines photography as a mass media technology and its influence on the progressive age in American culture. It shows Lejaren Hiller's proof photograph of the model as used to create this now iconic pulp cover. That image is seen below. It is possible that a copy of this photograph was mounted to the illustration board as a guide to Hiller's painting, as he often explored such mixed media methods in his work. Painting is French matted and housed in an antique period fine frame under glass. Sight Size 13 1/2" X 14 1/2"


  • Artist
    Lejaren Hiller (1880 - 1969, American)
  • Creation year
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 14.5 in. x W 13.5 in.

    H 36.83 cm x W 34.29 cm

  • Gallery location
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Reference number

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