Tuesday, July 14, 2015
As any fortunate resident of Paris or any Francophile living elsewhere in the world could tell you, this is Bastille Day (aka French National Day), commemorating the July 14, 1789, public storming of the Bastille Saint-Antoine, a fortress-prison in the French capital that was seen as symbolizing King Louis XVI’s increasingly oppressive and oblivious monarchy. The attack marked the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade-long period of political and social upheaval that would feature the execution of Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, and lead to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
By way of contributing to this celebration, I’ve put together what I think is a very handsome gallery of more than 50 book fronts that owe their inspiration to France or, specifically, Paris. Artists represented here include: Robert Bonfils (French Fever), Paul Rader (Girl Running), Raymond Johnson (Dark Streets of Paris), James Avati (King of Paris), Robert Maguire (Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper, Dateline: Paris), Victor Livoti (Maid in Paris), George Ziel (Night Boat to Paris), Rudy Nappi (French Alley), Mitchell Hooks (Murder on the Left Bank), Verne Tossey (Left Bank of Desire), Rudolph Belarski (Streets of Paris), Barye Phillips (Lili of Paris), Stanley Zuckerberg (Angelique and the King), James Meese (The Long Sword), and of course Robert McGinnis, who painted the cover--seen above--for A Certain French Girl (Gold Medal, 1964), by author, screenwriter, and TV producer Nathaniel “Nat” Tanchuck.
Click on any of these images to open an enlargement.