Alex Henzel has emailed me this lovely piece of artwork crying out for a gothic romance to call its own. The artist is Harry Bennett, an award-winning painter and illustrator who created over 1,000 covers and illustrations during his career as a commercial artist.
I have quite a few Fawcett Crest novels (mostly written by Victoria Holt, Susan Howatch, Phyllis Whitney and Mary Stewart) that feature Harry Bennett covers but I don’t recognise this one. The more I look at it though, the more it’s ringing bells for me somewhere – I’m sure there must be a deliciously creepy tale behind this eerie threesome!
The piece could be a preliminary sketch for a more complete work and it’s beautiful. Harry Bennett has a very distinctive style – the lush sweep of a dress or cloak, the brooding, shadowed expressions combined with a vivid use of light and dark are all trademarks of his gothic romance art. Violet is such an evocative colour to use and very Victorian, bringing to mind a storm swept, winter’s dusk. I think this would make the perfect cover for an sinister vampire novel.
Does any recognise it or can hazard a guess what it was used for? If so, please get in touch!
Alex also has an amazing collection of vintage paperbacks which you can view at his web page Good Girl Art Vintage Paperbacks. They really don’t publish books like these anymore – I’ve spend hours looking through his collection already and I think the titles are almost as wonderful as the covers!
Thank you for sharing Alex!