Francesco Accornero (Franco)

franco accornero
Francesco Accornero 

Franco, An Italian Born Artist

Francesco Maria Accornero was a renowned romance cover artist for many publishers.

Better known by his nickname Franco, he was born in Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy on December 4, 1938.

Franco would graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Instituto di Alessandro Volta Napoli.

Franco worked for The Ministry of Transportation in Rome. Eventually, he would find his true calling was art, not engineering or logistics.

Later, he emigrated to America to seek a career in art in 1972.

He studied at the revered Art Student’s League in New York City, the preferred learning center of many of the great artists of this century, including Jackson Pollock. Franco’s prime area of study at the League was in portraiture. Franco also studied in New York at The Visual Art Institute.

Career As a Cover Artist

For over 50 years Franco Accornero would go on to produce many designs as an artist. He worked in both fine and commercial art.

He created around 8-10 book covers each month. Franco worked with all major romance publishing houses such as Dorchester, Harlequin, Kensington, Bantam, Dell, and New American Library.

As a freelance artist, he was in charge of all elements of the cover design from setting up the scene, to models, costumes, and props. He arranged the poses, trying different ones with different lighting arrangements to achieve the most dramatic and flattering balance of light and shadow. Franco also used a wind machine to get that flowing hair look.

Thousands of romances bear his beautiful covers.

Subsequently, Franco’s illustrations have been seen all around the world in dozens of nations. Over a certain period, he was the most sought-out and the highest-paid artist in his field. 

Franco was an admirer of the works of Elaine Duillo, as well as Victor GadinoJohn Ennis, and Charles Gehm

In time, he would be an innovator in cover art design. Due to his fascination with the capabilities of technology, Franco always pushed the boundaries of his art. Before making an early transition to digital artwork in the 1990s, he had worked primarily in oils.

Death & Legacy

Sadly, Franco Accornero died on April 14, 2020, in Stamford, Connecticut of prostate cancer.

Left behind would be many admirers of his beautiful artwork. Most importantly, he is missed by his loving family, including his wife and son.

Franco Accornero Book Covers

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