The album art for Cul de Sac’s Death of the Sun has always intrigued me. Not having a physical copy of the album meant I had no access to the liner notes. I decided that I needed to know who the painter was, and put it up on Ask Metafilter. No luck, although they turned me on to Corot. One person had the contact info for the album art designer, whom I emailed – and shortly after got a reply from the main guy in the band. The artist is Antonio Fontanesi, a Barbizon school painter who actually lived in Japan during their 19th century policy of isolation.
There are a few of his paintings available in high quality here, including “Aprile,” (above) which was cropped down for Death of the Sun. Very desolate, very beautiful.