A Beautiful Scan of one of ERB’s favorite pieces of Barsoom art – St. John’s Thuvia


Bob Zeuschner saw my previous post about the J. Allen St. John “Thuvia” and was good enough to send me a really good quality scan, and for that I’m immensely thankful. I am sharing it below. This is the one piece of art above all others that to me captures what’s going on in my mind when I read the ERB books.  ERB considered St. John to be the ultimate illustrator of his novels, and for good reason.  Things I love about it:

  • The “steroid factor” is not in evidence.  I don’t hate the steroid art (Frazetta comes to mind), but I definitely like this better.
  • The representation of Thar Ban, on the horse, is interesting in that the humanoid elements are more pronounced.
  • The thoat is awesome.
  • The classical feel
  • Thuvia is perfection.  Obviously it’s easier to get perfection from behind — but that’s part of the genius.  Her hair, her form, her body language, even the way she holds her hand.
Here it is.  I’m not doing inserts this time because this is a nice, big scan — just click on it and enjoy.  Thanks Bob!
Also — below the first piece is a second one from the same sequence that has been colorized.  St. John’s original is not in color — I’m just including it because it’s kind of unique and suggests how this one might feel in color.  (And yes — I know a colorized version of this first one exists, but I’m not crazy about it — the colors don’t feel right to me, so I’ll stick with this one, which is brilliant.)
Click on image to view full-size


  • Best Barssoom Art Ever link goes to a page with nothing but “registration has been cancelled”…

    HG Guy

  • Okay, I’ve got it now. My FUBAR

    Great picture, and a lot closer to my image of thoats than the ones used in the movies

  • I adore these! I have a print of the top one I think, that was given out at the ECOF. Some stunning prints in that collection! These are some of my very favorites! Not surprised ERB loved that one so much.

  • I would buy that in a minute. Of course, I’ll still treasure my 1970s SFBC editions (low material quality though they may be) for the wonderful Frazetta art that formed my mental conception of Barsoom, but having an edition/editions with the original art would be fantastic.

  • That is a beautiful piece of art. I wish someone would reprint the series with that art or the previous artwork. The current artwork on most editions leave something to be desired.

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