BONESTELL, CHESLEY | "OUR GALAXY, THE MILKY WAY," ORIGINAL ARTWORK FOR THE COVER OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, OCTOBER 1970
Estimate: 7,000 - 10,000 USD
"Our Galaxy, the Milky Way," original artwork for the cover of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1970
Oil on artist’s board, 16 ½ x 29 inches (sight), signed ("Chesley Bonestell") lower right, caption in pencil to back of frame in Hulda Bonestell's hand: "400,000 Lt. years out from Our Galaxy, on hypothetical planet | Galaxy tipped approx. 30° | Thin atmosphere on planet | Red star above galaxy center locates Solar System | M31 — Andromeda — at far right | M33 — Just above galaxy | Magellanic clouds, extreme L." Matted and framed to 21½ x 34 inches; not examined out of frame.
A DYNAMIC IMAGINING OF OUR GALAXY FROM "THE FATHER OF SPACE ART"
The present work was seen, though in cropped form, on the cover of the October 1970 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF). First published in 1949, F&SF has long been one of the leading magazines in the science fiction and fantasy field. Beginning in 1950, and for almost three decades thereafter, Bonestell's art frequently graced the pages of the magazine.
Bonestell's rendering of our galaxy as seen from a mountainous otherworldly landscape was featured on the cover of the magazine's 21st Anniversary "All-Star Issue," which contained writings from a number of noted Science Fiction authors (including Isaac Asimov). Bonestell assumes the vantage point of viewing the Milky Way "from a planet with a very thin atmosphere 400,000 light years out in space ... [The Milky Way] is 100,000 light years in diameter and its plane is inclined 30 degrees to the line of sight (the left side being the near side) ... The few stars visible are wanderers, which have escaped from galaxies and are drifting through space, and our hypothetical planet from which the picture is taken is presumably orbiting one of these." (Schuetz, p. 94)
Melvin Schuetz. A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology, Parkland Florida: Universal Publishers, 1999
ACQUISITION: Bonestell Space Art, circa 1984