In 1975, the Chicago Tribune conducted a survey among World War II veterans as to what they remembered most about the war-time period. The responses received most often were Glen Miller's band and the Varga Girl. As a result, Vargas was commissioned to paint his own tribute to the war; his painting was featured in the bicentennial commemorative edition of the paper, published on December 7, 1975. This painting is Vargas' sensitive and moving portrayal of the many American women who loved and supported their husbands and boyfriends while the men fought overseas. World War II expresses many emotions. The news of the young widow's devastating loss of her husband is revealed by the Purple Heart medal clutched in her hand, just below her wedding band. In this intensely private moment, she is completely vulnerable. She also tells of the artist's love and deep passion. This painting was completed within a year of his own beloved wife's death, a personal loss which he never stopped mourning. Vargas transformed his own personal grief into this master work -- a poignant piece that truly touches the heart. This was published in an edition of 200 prints plus proofs on opalesque paper, and an edition of 450 prints plus proofs on arches paper.
Courtesy of SFAE