What could be more perfect to celebrate Hallowe'en than this lurid tale of torture, murder and the Black Death as goulishly rendered by Gustav Rehberger?
Coronet's editors chose well when they picked Rehberger to illustrate "The Shakespeare Murder Mystery" for the July 1955 issue of the digest magazine.
Another artist might have focused more on detailed accuracy of costume and architecture for this period piece, turning the images into snapshots from a Hollywood stage set. Rehberger understood better than most that conveying the mood and emotion of the dastardly goings on was more important than getting the right kind of button on a shirt.
His stylized, gothic images, filled with shadows and dread, transport us to an otherworldly place, complete with a swirling, churning Lovecraftian vortex hole that looks like it leads to some Cthulhu-like dimension.
Rehberger believed that the concept was "the all important core of a picture."
"No amount of good painting will redeem a poor conception."
* You can enjoy all of today's creepy images at full size in my Gustav Rehberger Flickr set. And have a Happy Hallowe'en!