Sweet Savage Flame’s Covers of the Week #121 features the artwork of the legendary artist Lou Marchetti, famous for fine art, magazine, pulp, and Gothic romance covers.
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Note: Oops, I did it again! I had an ear infection this weekend and didn’t double-check before scheduling this. Unfortunately, this Covers of the Week post was posted without images! So, to make up for that, I added an extra cover from my collection. My sincerest apologies to you all!
Artist: Lou Marchetti
Early Life and Career
Louis J. Marchetti was an Italian-American artist best known for his work on paperback book covers, particularly in the Gothic genre.
Born in Fondi, Italy, in 1920, Lou Marchetti moved to New York and studied at the Art Students League under renowned artists. He served in World War II and was active in the U.S. Air Force Artist’s Program. His works are on display at the Pentagon and the USAF Academy.
After his time in the military, he became a successful commercial artist. His illustrations appeared in popular magazines like Look, Life and The Saturday Evening Post. Marchetti famously produced a famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe for True magazine in June 1974.
Book Illustrator and Fine Artist
Louis Marchetti was a prolific cover artist for major publishing houses like Avon, Ballantine, Dell, Fawcett, and Warner from the 1950s to the 1980s. He was instrumental in creating the aesthetic for Gothic genre book covers of a woman running out into the dark night with a house, mansion, castle, etc, in the background.
As a book cover illustrator, he primarily used still photographs, movie stills, and magazine clippings for inspiration. Often, Marchetti would involve his family members and household objects as models and props, turning them into integral parts of his artwork. He rarely used actual facial images, instead opting to create them from his imagination, which makes his left a uniquely recognizable stamp on his figures.
Toward the later part of his career, he transitioned to fine art and expanded his use of oils and canvas to focus on larger paintings. He often painted landscapes of the European countryside, especially scenes near his birthplace in Italy.
Lou Marchetti passed away in 1992, but his wife, Venice, was active in keeping his memory alive until her death in 2014. His daughter, Louise Marchetti Zeitlin, maintains a website dedicated to her father’s artwork.
For the week of Monday, October 30 to November 5, 2023, we highlight four romance novel covers from the 1960s and 1970s illustrated by the talented artist Lou Marchetti.
The Covers From Top to Bottom
What do you think of this week’s theme of covers by Louis Marchetti? Which of our selections do you like the best, and what about them appeals to you?
As always, please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance!