Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April Venus: Barbara Hillary

Barbara Hillary April 1970

For the next 12 months we will be looking back over the Playboy centrefolds since the beginning and selecting one as the ultimate picture to represent each month. This will be entirely subjective but we will be considering, face, figure, pose, sensuality and the overall composition of the picture. Its not about the girl really. If she has great photos in the rest of her pictorial but a dull centrefold she won't qualify. Playboy photographers are constrained, of course, by the fact that the have a long narrow image space. Therefore most Playboy centrefolds are depicted either full-length standing up or full length lying down. Sometimes they do crop the figure (usually to mid-thigh) or get the girl to adopt a kneeling pose; but these are unusual.

For April we have 60 centrefolds to consider and we very quickly got it down to the last four and then eliminated from there.

Ashlyn Martin April 1964

Ashlyn Martin nearly made it for her enticing smile and Boucher-esque pose in a nice uncluttered picture. Probably our runner-up.

Giuliana Marino April 2007

Despite saying its not about the girl Giuliana Marino was close for being the almost perfect incarnation of a Triple P woman. If we had to invent the perfect girl she would look almost exactly like Giuliana and...she's Italian! Her picture, because of the furniture, reminds us of happy days staying in the Grand Hotel in Rome where an assortment of Italian lovelies wafted through our suite and our life. If she hadn't been waxed she may have won!

Lisa Sohn April 1977

Lisa Sohn nearly made it on sensuality alone. Dripping wet, she exudes a sexiness that is rather unusual in a Playboy centrefold picture.

But, when it came down to it there was only one winner and that was Barbara Hillary from April 1970. It is, in fact, one of the great Playboy centrefold pictures (maybe even the greatest), photographed by Pompeo Posar. Barbara, her 37-24-35 figure stretched out on a beanbag, looks enticingly like an oyster presented in its shell. The vibrant coloured carpet frames her beautifully. The picture below from the same session is also splendid without having the impact of the centrefold itself.


Would you like to swallow me whole?


  1. I hereby vote for Miss April 1980, Liz Glazowski. Besides being Polish and beautiful, she was a fairly ardent Pubic Warrior.

  2. I agree--Barbara Hillary was the best CF shot. Runners up: Alana Soares and Cynthia Myers for superb side profiles. Other faves: the late Debbie Boostrom, Lynda Weisemeier, Candy Loving, and Marilyn Lange. But why someone like Roberta Vasquez or Carol Imhof , two of my all-time favourite playmates,had to be saddled with such poor CF and calendar pictures, I'll never fully understand.

  3. Indeed. Vasquez, one of the most extraordinary bodies to be featured in the magazine, was poorly served by her centrefold as was one of my all time favourites, Veronica Gamba.

  4. Great blog and cool idea to go through centerfolds by the month. I have long considered Barbara Hillary's centerfold to be one of the best in Playboy's history. Playboy also released it as a jigsaw puzzle. Other great centerfolds - from the artistic perspective - are Tonya Crews, Anne Randall, and Janet Lupo. Thanks!