Google+ The Art that Inspires Writers and Readers: From the Tate Gallery (for inspiration) to the Romance cover

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

From the Tate Gallery (for inspiration) to the Romance cover

I have been turning around the subject of the romance cover art for a few post already. First I had to remove them from my personal list of endangered  species and now I am going as far as considering their artistic value.

The question now is: What  makes a good cover illustration? and my answer is that it must meet the expectations, like all the other rules of romance that still have to be respected:

1. The Hero and Heroine meet 
2. Attraction develops
3. Suffering happens
4. Physical culmination at the almost exact middle of the book
5. More suffering
5. Happy ending
 AND A cover that helps you imagine the story. 

(And I think it still stands that the heroine must be sexually inexperienced or at least must not have found much satisfaction in previous relationship)

The covers are also evolving, as you can see in my previous post. There is a tendency to replace landscapes and fresh faces for the scantly clad couples in the throes of passion, so common in the past.

And then, here comes Eloisa James and a fairly recent series (2007-2009): desperate duchesses. These are books about married women who are unhappy in their "happily ever after" and maybe because of that the intended public are  women who are not so young themselves, fellow readers, like me, who are happy to force the boundaries of the genre, but who still expect a classic cover (and the happy ending!).

And Here enters James Griffin, a classically trained painter who has been illustrating romance covers for decades. As He himself describes in his webpage, his personal interest in realistic painting had no place in an art gallery in the seventies and even less now. 
About Jim Griffin

Nevertheless his covers are exactly what we expect, it is part of the "romance novel experience"  and the perfect match for these heart felt stories of love redeemed. Beautiful classic paintings circa 2010 for heroines that have the drive and sensibility of our time.