Saturday, August 9, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #123: Metamorphoses, by Ovid


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

Here's my choice for this week!

Trade Paperback, 538 pages
Hackett Publishing Co., Inc.
September 24, 2010
Classics, Fantasy, Mythology, Poetry

Why do I love this cover?

Again the color blue calls out to me....I was planning to feature an entirely different cover, but in the process of researching, came across this stunning image! So I immediately changed my plans, because this cover is simply too much of a visual delight to pass up!

Interestingly, I have never read the work in question, but now that I have seen this masterpiece of a cover, I'm planning to acquire this particular edition just as soon as possible!

In addition to the color, what I love the most about this gorgeous image is the fusion of abstraction and realism, as well as the  dynamic composition.  It fits the title of this book perfectly! Everything is in flux; there is constant transformation going on. The humanoid figures are melting into each other in a beautiful way, and it feels as if the universe is being born if we were witnesses at the moment of the creation of humankind.....

The upper right-hand corner of the cover could represent a butterfly's wing, or an angel's wing....or perhaps the fluctuations of the elements as they began to coalesce into matter. 

This cover definitely lends itself to endless speculation as to its possible meaning, but it's not the meaning that's really important, but the beauty of the composition, of the flowing, dynamic design.

It was sheer genius to place the title the way it is, following one of the main lines of the composition. The letters of the font are classically Roman, which is very much in keeping with the theme of the work itself, which is a series of mythological poems written by the classical Roman poet, Ovid.

This image is actually an already-existing painting, by the hugely talented fine artist Micheline Klagsbrun, who studied in Paris, and later, at the Corcoran School of Art with Bill Newman and Gene Davis. She is currently a mentor at Corcoran.  

The cover painting is titled "They Snaked Together (Cadmus and Harmonia)".  Cadmus was a  Phoenician prince, according to Greek mythology, and was the son of King Agenor and Queen Telephassa of Tyre.  He also founded the Greek city of Thebes, and is credited by Herodotus with introducing the Phoenician alphabet to the Greeks. His wife, Harmonia, was said to be the daughter of Zeus and Electra. (Source: Wikipedia)  

The very talented cover designers are Brian Rak and Elizabeth L. Wilson, who placed the image and lettering in a very strategic manner, contributing to the overall appeal of this cover!

 Online Links for 
Micheline Klagsbrun

What do you think of my
choice this week?
Please leave me a comment
and let me know!


  1. This is one of the most striking covers that I have ever seen. I agree with all your reasons for liking it. Maybe this is just me, but in addition to it's beauty I do sense a little apprehension in it. As if the change may lead to some bad things as well as good.

    It is interesting that the publisher would use such a contemporary looking image on the cover of such an ancient work. Though it feels just a little incongruous I ultimately thing that it was a good choice. Metamorphosis is indeed about ageless themes.

    I reread it a few years ago. I think that you would like it Maria.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey, Brian!

      I can't believe just how striking it is! In addition to the colors, the main one being aqua (which matches the tones on the left side of my blog, lol), the composition is extremely dynamic! Now that you mention it, I see that "little apprehension" in it, too. Hmm.... it's as if the humanoid figure in the bottom area were transforming into, or fusing, with, something not quite......human? An alien,perhaps?

      Oh, I agree about this image being the right choice for such an ancient work! It depicts the sense of metamorphosis very clearly, and, as you point out, this is an ageless theme.

      Hope you're having a great weekend, too, and thanks for another great comment!! : )


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