Okay, so this is, to me, anyway, amazing: I found the banner image you see on the blog yesterday evening. It had all the qualities I wanted — too many even to be able to explain here. I downloaded it and cropped it and posted it, all the while feeling. . .not right, you know. . .because that little angel-on-your-shoulder statement was posted to the right of the image: “Copyright restrictions may apply.” I knew it had to be dealt with. I told myself that the artist might well be someone who does contemporary old-master-style paintings, and he or she might be simply delighted to have his or her work cameoed (is that a verb?) on a blog and a book cover. Instant publicity, right?  Sales, right? But if we had to pay, we’d pay; I was just hoping it wouldn’t be too much. The image was perfect.

So today, when the publisher’s representative called me about some other details, I told her about finding the image, “borrowing it,” and the need for us to find out about rights.  (And, of course, the need for rights to be affordable.) She quickly said that if I would send her the link, she’d get right on it and see what she could learn.

Of course, have I ever been about to wait for someone else to do something like that? Noooooo. I  sent Amanda the link, but I also did some digging myself, and learned — glory be! — that the painting “Four Children and a Basket of Fruit” was painted by Angelika Kauffman around 1800.  It’s on a myriad of poster and oil painting reproduction sites because (yes, it’s true) it’s in the public domain!  The image is perfect for Raising the Renaissance Child — okay, to me it’s perfect — if you disagree, please let me know — and it’s mine to use forever, for anything.  What’s more, the details of Angelika Kauffman’s life will resonate with Renaissance Child fans.  More about that in the coming days.

Just one more way that I feel the guiding hand of Providence on me in this project.