Illustrator Darrell K. Sweet (1934-2011) was a reliable image maker who, it seems to me, tended to strive for a kind of old-fashioned naturalism in his fantasy and science fiction paintings but whose finished work often appeared slightly (and sometimes, especially in his later years, more than slightly) cobbled together and stiff. Once in a while, however — the period from late 1970s to the early 1980s was definitely the sweet spot — the artist managed to break through to a more expressive (and cohesive) version of his basic style. Sweet’s 1978 covers for Stephen R. Donaldson’s first “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever” trilogy, for instance, were among the finest of his career, and compare favourably with the work of his heroes from the so-called “Golden Age of Illustration.” And look here! I’ve just scanned them — from the 1983 reprints I recently acquired to replace my disintegrating 1978 originals — for you to admire:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
Classic covers for a classic trilogy! What more can one ask for?