The story behind the cover of The Great Gatsby in 1925

Few novels have achieved such popularity the great gatsby. Originally published in 1925, this classic novel tells the story of a mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who is driven by a romantic desire to be reunited with an old lover, while commenting Social class, money old and new, and the American dream. While first and foremost, author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece is known for its compelling stories, but the book also boasts one of the most iconic covers in literature. It depicts the face of a disembodied flap hovering over the nighttime cityscape.

This iconic gouache painting by a little-known Spanish graphic designer, Francis Cugat, seems to capture the essence of Fitzgerald’s writings, although before sketching, the artist had to A brief and tentative name has arrived. While the author may not have seen the final cover before publication, Fitzgerald received several preliminary sketches of Cugat’s designs and was so pleased with the images that he told the editor he went back to the manuscript to connect the cover to the content of the book.

Scroll down to learn more about who made the cover the great gatsbyand how it affected the final editing of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece.

what is the great gatsby?

The Great Gatsby cover from 1925

Digitally restored image of the cover of the first edition of The Great Gatsby, 1925. Cover illustration by Francis Cugat. Published by Charles Scribner’s son. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Published in 1925, the great gatsby It is the most famous novel by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940). It tells the story of a mysterious “new money” millionaire Jay Gatsby’s desire to reunite with wealthy married socialite Daisy Buchanan – from the first-person perspective of frustrated narrator Nick Callaway Come and see.

Photo by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King

Left: Promotional photo for F. Scott Fitzgerald, c. 1921 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, public domain)
Right: 1918 photograph of American socialite and heiress Ginevra King (Photo: Arnold Genthe via Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

Part of the storyline was inspired by Fitzgerald’s own life and his brief romance with American socialite Ginevra King. Despite his deep love for her, Kim’s relationship fell apart when Kim’s family found out that the young writer had no money. This sparked Fitzgerald’s trajectory into the U.S. military, and his desire to become rich and famous when he returned home. They are parallels in Jay Gatsby’s life.

Today, the novel is a classic of American literature for its views on wealth, class, and the American Dream.

who did it for the cover the great gatsby?

Francis Cugat photo

Photo of Francis Cugat, the artist behind the 1925 cover of The Great Gatsby, 1918. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

After a year of short stories and false starts, Fitzgerald began working on a manuscript for The Great Gatsby in 1924. During this time, his publisher, Charles Scribner’s Sons, sought an artist to cover an upcoming book.They found a little-known artist from Barcelona named Francis Cugat (1893-1981), he painted poster portraits of opera and theatre stars.

Cugat received a summary of the novel as well as the interim title “Between the Ashstack and the Millionaire,” and began making various sketches inspired by these elements. These preliminary drawings feature the disembodied face of a baffle suspended over the New York cityscape.

After several revisions, Cuget completed the gouache final cover and dubbed it Eye of the sky Highly praised by publishers. In fact, it has been one of the most famous covers in literature.

source of inspiration Eye of the sky

The Great Gatsby Cover

Original painting by Francis Cugat for the first edition of The Great Gatsby, 1925 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Cugat’s paintings Eye of the sky Depicting a shimmering yellow-red strip of New York City, overwhelmed by a pure blue sky, with one of the flapper’s faces looking directly at the viewer. The irises of her makeup eyes contain reclining nude female figures, and above her eyebrows is a sketch of a minimalist headgear.

Although Cugat hadn’t read a copy of The Great Gatsby before writing this article, he was told the general premise and was given a tentative name. He wanted to incorporate key elements of New York, which can be seen in the bottom landscape and glimpses of 1920s glamour in the woman’s face.

Influence on Fitzgerald’s writing

The Great Gatsby Cover

Dust jacket of the first edition of The Great Gatsby, 1925 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Fitzgerald received preliminary sketches Eye of the sky while he was working on the manuscript Great Gatsby. As quoted in his letter to the editor, he was so pleased with the image that he deliberately edited his work to relate it to the book.

Although there is no clear consensus as to which parts of the book were directly influenced by Cugat’s cover, there are a few theories.A more popular explanation is that the appearance of the cover reflects Billboard for optometrist TJ Eckleburg, another author Ernest Hemingway agrees. In addition, the book describes Daisy as “the girl with her face floating over dark cornices and dazzling signs,” which is attributed to the cover’s influence.

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