artwork (c) Frank R. Paul estate

Cover art by Frank R. Paul for Spring 1931 Wonder Stories Quarterly, illustrating "Into Plutonian Depths" by Stanton H. Coblentz (1896-1982).

This piece has an interesting composition; composition was always one of Paul's strongpoints.  Note how the ship and its exhaust plume cut in at an angle from the upper left, and the rings of Saturn cut in from the lower left.  The angle of the Milky Way parallels that of Saturn, forming a big X-shape with the exhaust plume.  Very dynamic, activating the entire field of the illustration.  The major lines of composition lead the eye to the spaceship itself - an interesting design, with the sphere surrounded by a ring, echoing the shape of Saturn itself. Very interesting. - F.W.

Astronomical artist Ron Miller once wrote that Paul "produced an unbelievable volume of work during his career - primarily for Hugo Gernsback's many publications, particularly Science and Invention and Amazing. He was trained as an engineer and architect, and his hardware (if nothing else) was drawn convincingly and authoritatively, although always with an odd flavor of art nouveau. His astronomical work was always a little more imaginative than anything else painted in the field at the time." Space Art, 1978, Starlog Publ., p. 15.

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