A Crowd Of Voices - Michael Johnson, Original artwork, 1961
1961, casein tempera on board, 39cm x 64cm
One of Johnson’s most sensuous and stylish compositions, and the earliest surviving Johnson's work using casein tempera paint which we have come across. Casein tempera paint was used by illustrators before the invention and availability of acrylic paint. This painting is an exceptional and very rare example of Johnson's early work.
The painting was used for the cover of "A Crowd of Voices" the first full length novel by Richard Lortz, a highly regarded writer of short stories, novels, plays, and TV shows. His 1972 Broadway play 'Voices' was made into a film starring David Hemmings, Gayle Hunnicutt and Lynn Farleigh the following year.
"A Crowd of Voices" was published by Four Square Books in the year it was acquired by Times Mirror Company of Los Angeles and re-branded as the National English Library (NEL), now a cult imprint of 1960s and 70s paperback pulp fiction.
Other People’s Lives - Michael Johnson, Original artwork, 1961
c.1961, casein tempera on board, 38cm x 51cm
A rare, early casein illustration for Woman’s Own – typical of the popular women’s romantic fiction of that time.
The male model used for this painting was Michael Johnsons friend and colleague, the hugely successful illustrator Renato Fratini.