Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Frame of Dreams

A Frame of Dreams is #34 in the Bantam series and was published in March 1976. It is a story about artist named Vanessa who painted miniatures. Miniatures were small "head shot" portraits that were popular before the camera was invented. Only someone very skilled could paint on such a small surface. The Marquis of Ruckford helps Vanessa and decides to make her his mistress. What happens when she refuses and the truth of her family situation become known is the plot of this interesting romance.

Francis Marshall paints very different pictures for this cover. The Bantam one emphasizes Vanessa as an artist, with her canvasses, paintbrushes, and supplies visible. She wears a pretty pink dress which is trimmed in forest green. The Pan cover has our couple at a balloon launch, probably in one of London's parks. It's interesting that this cover was used since it doesn't emphasis Vanessa's artistic abilities.

Women usually dabbled in watercolors, but few were trained artists in the early 1800's. One of my favorites, Angelica Kauffmann, was an original member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in England. I am lucky to have seen one of her works in the town that I live!

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