On Thursday, we were finally allowed to share the US cover of THE MINIATURIST, and I couldn't be more delighted with it. It's just so sumptuous, so sensitive to the feel of the book, and well, downright alluring.
I have had to sit on this one since last September, when I was sent an early version of this stunning cover. It has really taken my breath away, from the skirt whose folds lightly protect the houses and the people walking beneath, to the rings on the woman's fingers, and the little green parakeet whose shocking green offsets the beautiful, muted blues. The woman could be Marin, she could be Nella - or she could, of course, be the Miniaturist. The artist, Catrin Welz-Stein, even featured the two dogs in the novel! I also like the play on proportion - is the woman a giant, or are the people beneath her merely tiny? I love the falling snow - a nod to the fact the book is set in October through to January.
When I sent the cover to a friend, she commented that it reminded her of a wonderful, magic mixture of an Old Master painting with a fairytale atmosphere. She sent me this picture, (below left), a beautiful illustration by Errol Le Cain for the story The Snow Queen...and (below right) a portrait by the Dutch painter Frans Hals, of Aletta Hanemans.
Here's one more pic of Errol Le Cain's Snow Queen, just because I love her outfit so much:
Then I remembered one of my favourite images of a female figure in a snowscape. I was lucky enough to see this illustration below in the flesh at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. It's by Edmund Dulac and it's called The Snow Maiden. There is something so eerie and lonely about it, so otherworldly but vital - her strangely bridal dress, the dripping red heart in her hands...
And THEN I found two more images of women with parrots! Seems to be a theme...below left, Aubrey Beardsley's Woman Reading, and below right, Gerda Wegener's Lady with Parrot.
It just made me very happy, looking at these images.
Women, birds, snow - and that little added edge of mystery.