Legendary romance cover artist Elaine Duillo passed away in June. We celebrate her life and career by spotlighting her beautiful illustrations for some beloved books.
Artist: Elaine Duillo
The Queen of Historical Romance Covers
Elaine Duillo was the undisputed “Queen of Historical Romance” cover artist. She was a major force in the competitive field of pulp fiction artwork, where women were few and far between. Duillo painted hundreds of book covers and was an inductee of the prestigious Illustrators Hall of Fame.
All that, plus Duillo was the matriarch of a talented artistic family, married to John Duillo and mother to Melissa-Duillo Gallo.
Sadly, she passed away on July 30, 2021, at 93.
This amazing artist influenced generations of illustrators and revolutionized romance cover art. She helped give rise to the pop culture phenom Fabio. One of the covers I chose, Defy Not the Heart, features Fabio and was a favorite of Elaine’s. It is also my all-time favorite cover.
Although she created many gorgeous stepbacks, or “tip-ins,” as those in the industry called them, Duillo was not a fan. She believed the eye-catching covers she designed were meant to be seen, not hidden away. Yes, to that, I say. Display those gorgeous illustrations displayed proudly!
Sweet Savage Flame Remembers Elaine
Sweet Savage Flame laments her passing. Our thoughts and sympathy are with her family. We celebrate Elaine Duillo’s life as she brought much joy and beauty to countless tens of millions of readers worldwide.
Her legacy lives on through her stunning cover art, which will continue to inspire and captivate future generations. Thank you, Elaine, for your incredible contributions to the world of romance novels and cover art. Rest in peace.
The Covers by Elaine Duillo
Here is a small sampling of my favorite romance covers painted by the late, great Elaine Duillo for this week of Monday, August 16 to Sunday, August 22, 2021.
- Golden Roses, Patricia Hagan, Avon, 1983
- Defy Not the Heart, Johanna Lindsey, Avon, 1989
- Damsel in Distress, Shannon Drake, Avon, 1992 (outer cover)
- Rainbow’s End, Rebecca Brandewyne, Warner Books, 1991
What are your favorite Elaine Duillo covers? What do you think of this week’s tribute? Do any of the covers stand out to you as a favorite?
Do you have a recommendation for a future Covers of the Week theme? Let us know, and we’ll try it out.
As always, please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.