Dean Cornwell Vignettes

Armand Cabrera
I have some other posts planned on Dean Cornwell that will have more depth but I thought I’d start with some favorite examples for now. I tried to use images I haven’t seen before on the web and I used images from old auction catalogs so the color is better than other scans I’ve seen.
Cornwell is one of the few golden age illustrators that appeal to gallery artists and illustrators alike. His masterful compositions and use of thick bravura brushwork allows his paintings to survive beyond the illustrated page.

I happen to love his vignettes; these paintings were done for ads and illustrations usually in black and white or a limited palette for print of two or three colors.

All the extraneous details of a normal painting are stripped away and Cornwell gives us just enough to set the scene and make the characters live. I love the juxtaposition of abstract shape and rendered forms. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Dean Cornwell Vignettes

  1. I love the way he shows you only what he wants to show you, and suggests the scene from a few props and background elements that also work two dimensionally. You get the feeling he just sketched these out off the top of his head, but I bet it took a lot of planning.

  2. Any chance You can post a high res version of the scans so we can see the details a bit better.

    Also here is a great download of 117 High res dean cornwell scans for anyone thatwants them.

  3. the first vignette is from the story 'Find the woman' written bij arthur somers roche and it appeared in cosmopolitan magazine in 1920. Do you have a higher resolution of this one?

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