George Ziel, a Polish artist whose artwork adorned countless book covers, is the focus of Covers of the Week #48.
The Artist: George Ziel
George Ziel, nee Jerzy Zielezinski, was born in Poland on March 28, 1914. After the German Nazis invaded his country, Ziel and his family were sent to live in the Warsaw Ghetto. Ultimately Zielezinski was transported to the Dachau Concentration Camp. Unlike many of his fellow inmates, Zielezinski survived the horrors of internment.
His lifelong dream was to be an artist. After the war, he made it come true. First, he published two books with artwork representing life in the ghetto and camp. His work became well-known in global circles. Zielezinski found himself in America in the 1950s. He shortened his last name to Ziel, although publishers still had trouble spelling his last name correctly, often misattributing his work as “Zeal”.
Ziel’s wife predeceased him and they had no children. He passed away in 1980.
George Ziel’s dark artwork was gloriously suited for Gothics, but he also had a talent for displaying the epic drama of romance. He left behind a legacy of at least 300 book covers, all of an astoundingly gorgeous caliber.
For the week of Monday, March 7, 2022, to Sunday, March 13, 2022, we’re showing off the exquisite artwork of cover illustrator George Ziel.