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Can You Name This Classic Artwork From Its Description?

John P. writes in with a challenge for our readers: do you know what science fiction illustration this is?

I have been trying to locate a certain drawing for at least ten years.

Back in the late 1970s I bought a Sci Fi calendar. I don’t recall if all the art work was by the same artist, but I thought this one drawing was by Arthur A. Findlay. However, when I looked at other drawings by him, the style did not seem the same.

The drawing I’m looking for is this:

An American astronaut sits in a gondola in a Martian canal. Beautiful Martian women are feeding him grapes. However, behind the astronaut in the water is a reptilian Martian (male), ready to stab the astronaut to death.

The style is 1950s pulp Sci Fi, but it has very bold lines and colors. It’s not like some “busy” sketch, but very much like the prototypical 1950’s style of sleek, clean lines.

Any ideas about this?

– John P.

Can you name this illustration or the artist?

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on Can You Name This Classic Artwork From Its Description?

  1. It’s called “The Canals of Mars” by Virgil Finlay. It served as the cover art for the October 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe. Here’s a link to a scan:

  2. Our awesome readers are awesome.

  3. Paul, thank you so much !!!!!   My memory was a little foggy; I had imagined the scene a little differently than it actually is, but this is definitely the photo.  Now I’m going to try to find this issue and buy it.

    I really love this type of art work.  I wonder if there is a whole book on it.  It’s interesting that it is Virgil Finlay.  Several years ago I also looked at his work, and concluded it wasn’t the same style.  I was wrong.


    Anyway, you are internet sleuth and genius in my eyes!  thanks again


    John Pachl

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