The Romance Artist Vidan
With his dreamlike, sensuous style that relies heavily on light and shadow, as well as his focus on the feminine form, the artist Vidan has become a major force in the romance novel illustration industry.
From his humble beginnings as a young painter in the small Italian city of Perugia (located between the major art cities of Florence and Rome), Vidan displayed a special passion for painting, no doubt influenced by his famous and equally talented uncle, the legendary Pino.
Vidan honed his artistic skills at two of Italy’s most prestigious art schools, the Liceo Artistico di Milano and the Accademia Delle Belle Arti located in Brera. While his works include impressive landscapes and portraiture, it is the Vidan artwork involving the female form that has garnered him some of his highest praise and recognition.
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Vidan's Legacy - Many Famous Romance Novel Covers
Vidan artwork can be found on the cover of many of the most popular romance novels including those published by Ballantine, Harlequin, Doubleday, Berkeley and Harper-Collins. In addition to his work on romance novel covers, Vidan has also created original work for publications such as TV Guide, the Italian version of Vogue magazine and greeting cards for the Mary Knoll company.
Vidan’s art for romance novels is considered by many to be the industry standard, capturing the imagination of the romance novel audience while possessing the ability to stand on their own. Most romance novel cover art tends toward literal translations of the work within, with impossibly muscled men – and sometimes women – dominating the work and in unrealistic poses and situations.
Vidan eschews this literal translation of the novel. His work portrays women in various settings, in a variety of poses, but each possessing the same gentle dream-like atmosphere. Utilizing oil on canvas, Vidan’s paintings are works that not only illustrate novels, but also tell a story themselves.
His painting entitled “Dressing Room”, for example, shows a young woman adjusting hair, her down-turned gaze open to the viewer’s interpretation. Is she worried, hopeful, pensive or letting her mind wander? Vidan’s distinctive style allows the viewers to project their own thoughts on the subject.
In Vidan’s “Velvet Embrace”, the ability to create luminous works of art shines through as a bright red velvet curtain becomes the focal point of the work, even with the presence of a woman naked from the torso up (her back is to the viewer). The juxtaposition of her ivory skin against the red velvet curtain is striking.
Vidan’s “Marigold” evokes comparisons to Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings with their vivid yellow/gold composition. In Vidan’s work, a young woman leans forward on a railing with a backdrop of differently hued yellow flowers. The fact that the young woman’s blouse is also yellow shows Vidan’s skill with shading, light and color.
Vidan moved to the U.S. in 1988 and that gave him an even stronger standing as the premier romance cover artist of our time. While his other works have found a home in galleries and private collections, his romance novel cover work is destined to be his most lasting legacy.
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