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    J. Allen St. John (American Artist, 1872-1957). Original Painting of Tarzan [The Fight with Ska]. From Tarzan the Untamed [Chicago: ca. 1919]. Mixed media on board. Image size: 27.25 x 16.75 inches; 694 x 425 mm. Matted, framed and glazed. Fine. This image appears on a plate opposite page 126 in Tarzan the Untamed (A. C. McClurg & Co., 1920).

    This image depicts one of the best and most powerful scenes from the entire Tarzan series. After having sworn vengeance against the invading German army during World War I (the army destroyed his farm and, apparently, killed his wife, Jane), Tarzan kills several German soldiers and officers by throwing them to a hungry lion. Afterwards, Tarzan, sick of mankind and its violence, decides to rejoin the band of apes who raised him, thus causing him to cross a vast desert to reach them. This trip across the desert nearly kills Tarzan, but he pretends to die to lure a vulture ("Ska" in the ape tongue) close enough so he can seize him and eat him. This saves his life, and Tarzan finishes his journey (and his further adventures). Many Burroughs fans consider this incident to be one of the most powerful scenes in any Tarzan adventure. St. John's illustration shows the essential drama and danger of Tarzan's situation. Surely, this is one of the finest and most important illustrations from St. John's work on the Tarzan books.

    J. Allen St. John is considered by many to be the "Godfather of Modern Fantasy Art," influencing such later artists as Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta.
    From the Albert E. Willis Collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2020
    4th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 815

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