Here’s an image that I gingerly scanned from my personal copy of the legendary Dragon’s Dream book, The Studio, and posted on my tumblr, TRANSISTORADIO, on 27 April 2015:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
Not sure if this has been remarked previously, perhaps it has, but it seems clear enough to me that the masked, pregnant woman in Jeffrey Jones’s Descent (1977) was inspired by the old woman in Gustav Klimt’s The Three Ages of Woman (1915):
Jones, of course, painted his own version of the “three ages of woman” (which — I know, I know — has already been identified by numerous Jones fans as an “homage” to Klimt):
Now, that’s a very strong cover, no doubt, but I think that anyone who is familiar with the work of Gustav Klimt will tell you that the composition of Foster’s illustration owes a clear debt to Klimt’s Medicine (1901), a large-scale ceiling painting that was destroyed in a fire started by the Nazis and is known to us only by a black-and-white photograph of the finished work and a small colour preliminary:
Although at first glance you might be tempted to conclude that, in addition to being inspired by Klimt’s composition, Foster flat-out swiped the figure of the woman suspended in space in the upper-left-hand quadrant of Klimt’s painting, I think a closer comparison of the two figures suggests that what Foster actually did was hire his own model and instruct her to strike a pose similar to one Klimt chose for his model.
Just came across an illustration (with collage elements) by Jim Steranko, published in 1970, that obviously shares a strong family resemblance with the cover illustration by Foster, published in 1968, featured above:
A handful of photographs and preparatory sketches are all that is left of Klimt’s controversial “Faculty Paintings.” All three — Philosophy (1900), Medicine (1901), and Jurisprudence (1903) — were destroyed in May 1945 when the retreating Nazis, who had illegally seized Klimt’s paintings from their legitimate owners, set fire to Schloss Immendorf, a castle in Lower Austria to which the paintings had been transported in 1943 for safe keeping.
P.S. The reason I’ve included the photo of Jurisprudence is simply to complete Klimt’s triptych for those who haven’t seen it. It’s not because I think it had a particular influence on the paintings by Jones included above.
P.P.S. Yes, I am aware that there are several other Klimt-inspired paintings by Jones. Maybe another time…