I’m not going to put forth any arguments here regarding a possible chain of influence from Wyeth to Fischl to Frazetta (because I don’t think there is one), the relative quality of the three paintings pictured below (because none of them is truly first rate), the relative merits of “fine art” versus “illustration art” (because I don’t care about the issue), etc. I just have a hankering to see these three paintings mashed together in one post:
Here are three more covers with art by Jeffrey Jones, scanned from the copies I have on hand at RCN headquarters here in the Queen City and posted below in order of publication:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
You can see the photo reference for the first cover — which, in terms of draughtsmanship and painting technique, I would describe as the weakest of the three, though I do find the composition interesting — on Jeffrey Jones’s official Web site. It’s the first image on this page, right beside the figure reference for the painting Age of Innocence.
The N. C. Wyeth influence is pretty obvious in Jones’s Nine Princes cover — see, for instance, Wyeth’s paintings for Robin Hood, etc. Years later, Jones revisited the idea of the knight on horseback in his Game of Thrones painting. Notice how the Wyeth influence is no longer right on the surface in the later painting but has been absorbed and transformed into a style that is less about trying on techniques and motifs like pieces of clothing and more about the pleasure of manipulating and thinking in paint.
Keywords:Day of the Beasts, The Dirdir, Nine Princes in Amber.
Frazetta’s obvious borrowing from Pyle has been pointed out many times in the past; however, I’ve never seen anyone add Wyeth’s painting to the mix (although surely someone has, the line of influence being so clear). Now, of the three galleon paintings, it seems obvious to me that Pyle’s original effort is not only the first but also the best of the three. It’s the best composed; it’s the most expressively painted; it’s the most dramatic. No wonder Wyeth and Frazetta (who seems to me to have borrowed as much from Wyeth’s galleon as from Pyle’s) were enthralled by Pyle’s Attack on a Galleon. It’s a masterpiece. And which of the remaining two galleon paintings is the weakest, Wyeth’s picturesque, chocolate-box cliché or Frazetta’s virtuosic but underdeveloped pastiche? You decide…