July 24, 2013

5 Music Artists That Used Historical Art for Their Album Covers

Pieter Bruegel the Eldar, Netherlandish Proverbs, 1559
Fleet Foxes, self-title album, 2008

Each of the situations in this painting is a visual and literal interpretation of a popular Netherlandish proverb from Bruegel's time. It was this depiction of many stories in one image that Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes says attracted him to the painting. The dense but unified feel, he tells Mojo magazine in 2009, felt fitting for the record. "It was very easy to get the museum in Berlin who has it to say yes," he says. "They were super excited a band wanted to use it and put it in their newsletter." (source)

Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830
Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, 2008

Lady Liberty (the same Lady Liberty of The Statue of Liberty in NYC) here commemorates the French July Revolution of 1830 (source). Coldplay's subsequent album cover was designed in collaboration with Tappin Gofton

Eugene Delacroix, Battle of Poitiers, 1830
Coldplay, Prospekt's March EP, 2008

Battle of Poitiers, one of Delacroix's lesser known paintings, depicts a major battle of the Hundred Years' War. This EP album cover is also designed in collaboration with Tappin Gofton.

Auguste Rodin, The Eternal Idol, 1889
Black Sabbath, The Eternal Idol, 1987

Rodin's sculpture exists in three different mediums; bronze, marble, and plaster (source). According to our good friend Wikipedia, Black Sabbath's initial intention was to feature the actual sculpture on their album cover. However they were unable to obtain permission to photograph it, so two models covered in paint were used to imitate the piece instead.

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne, 1520-23
Crash Test Dummies, God Shuffled His Feet, 1993

Love at first sight draws Bacchus, the god of wine, from his chariot pulled by cheetahs towards Ariadne on the left (source). Cutting Ariadne out of the frame, Crash Test Dummies' album cover features the faces of the various band members superimposed on top of the original figures.

Raphael, The School of Athens, 1509-11
Guns N Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II, 1991

Here the greatest of the ancient Greek philosophers intermingle with Raphael's learned contemporaries. While the two figures in the very center are known to be portraits of Plato and Aristotle, many of the figures remain unidentified. This includes the two people featured in Guns N Roses' Use You Illusion cover art painted by artist Mark Kostabi.

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