(Marcela Cordescu’s cover for the 1969 edition of Thaïs din Infern (1969), Alexandru Forje)
The Romanian graphic artist Marcela Cordescu produced a fascinating series of SFF covers from the 1950s-70s. For more on her consult this short article (most resources are in Romanian unfortunately). Many of her covers graced editions of Vladimir Colin’s (her husband) SFF works. I came across her eerie figures researching the publication history of the French SF author Gérard Klein—a collection of his short stories appeared in Romania with a Cordescu cover in 1973 (below). Her cover for the 1969 edition of Alexandru Forje‘s Thaïs din Infern (1969) pulls us into a minimalistic drama seeping with emotional resonance….
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome! Do you have a favorite?
This post fits in a series exploring women SFF cover artists in between the 50s-70s.
1. The Diagrammatic Minimalism of Ann Jonas and Donald Crews
2. Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes: The 1970s Italian SF Art of Allison A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini
3. The Galassia Covers of Allison A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini
4. Collage and Mechanism: Anita Siegel’s Art for Doubleday Science Fiction
(Marcela Cordescu’s cover 1973 edition of Planeta cu șapte măști? (1973), Gérard Klein)
(Marcela Cordescu’s cover for Basmele omului (1958) Vladimir Colin)
(Marcela Cordescu’s cover for the 1974 edition of Legendele țării lui Vam: O mitologie a omului (1974), Vladimir Colin)
For more SF cover art posts consult the INDEX.
12 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction and Fantasy Art: Women SF Illustrators of the 1960s/70s, Part V: The Eerie Figures of Marcela Cordescu”
You provide such a great service to past science fiction.
I really like the first one, ‘Thaïs din Infern’. It makes me wish even today’s contemporary fiction could look this smart. I really hate the way most “professionally” published books look these days.
Yeah, minimalism does not seem to be a common contemporary stylistic choice in SFF art…..
I’d like to see more Marcella Cordescu to get a better feel of her output. As for the French SF authors, after Jules Verne, Pierre Boulle, Gerard Klein (the Overlords of War), Rene Barjavel and Pierre Barbet, there doesn’t seem to be much translated to English that leads me to think they’re producing much in the way of anything memorable or important for the last fifty years. There was a couple of collections, Damon Knight’s Thirteen French Science Fiction Stories and Maxim Jakubowski’s Traveling Towards Epsilon, that both have some nice shorter fiction.
It was difficult finding larger images of her covers online — hence the smaller compilation….
What recent French SF have you tried to read? Perhaps it’s more the lack of translation.
These are wonderful! Subtle shapes, but so obviously humanoid. I love the face in the trees.
Thanks! Do you have a favorite?
Probably the face in the trees, but that top ones is a close second.
Wow some of these illustrations are eerily appealing. A good photo can complement a good piece!
Thanks for the comment. Have a favorite?
It is an enormous pleasure to discover your article. I just made a quick research about Marcela Cordescu and remembered some of her illustrated books that my child memory retained, yet her style is incredibly nuanced and versatile! I re-discover her in a completely different context and am mesmerized to the point that i want to find and own a few of her illustrated books. Thank you for sharing this!