From Apollo Magazine article (April 13, 2020):
Minton had gone on to produce a series of spectacularly colourful oil paintings of Corsica on his return to London, exhibiting them at the Lefevre Gallery in 1949. Many of them depicted fruit and fish and other ingredients for Mediterranean cuisine, and so confirmed Minton as the obvious choice for the David commission.
David delightedly recalled that: ‘In the shop windows [Minton’s] brilliant blue Mediterranean bay, his tables spread with white cloths and bright fruit, bowls of pasta and rice, a lobster, pitchers and jugs and bottles of wine, could be seen far down the street.’
Variations on these two images were used for the double-page spread on which the title appeared in David’s second book, French Country Cooking (1951), while the wrap-around image on the dust jacket depicted the interior of a well-stocked kitchen, many of its utensils borrowed from the author to ensure accurate representation.
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Francis John Minton (25 December 1917 – 20 January 1957) was an English painter, illustrator, stage designer and teacher. After studying in France, he became a teacher in London, and at the same time maintained a consistently large output of works. In addition to landscapes, portraits and other paintings, some of them on an unusually large scale, he built up a reputation as an illustrator of books.
In the mid-1950s, Minton found himself out of sympathy with the abstract trend that was then becoming fashionable, and felt increasingly sidelined. He suffered psychological problems, self-medicated with alcohol, and in 1957 died by suicide.