Ian Fleming’s unhappy artistic collaborator

The UK Daily Mail has posted today an interesting story concerning a frequently unexamined sector of James Bond history.

The name “Richard Chopping” may be somewhat unfamiliar to most James Bond fans, but, to aficionados of Ian Fleming’s novels, it should be as the artist who created striking covers for the British Jonathan Cape hardcovers, starting with Diamonds Are Forever and continuing through Octopussy And The Living Daylights.

Chopping's FRWL cover for Jonathan Cape

Sadly, the story of late artist’s association with 007 history is not an entirely happy one. The paintings he created — which each took a month to paint — were sold outright to the publishers, with no establishment of royalties to be paid to the artist. This despite the fact that Fleming himself considered Chopping to be his “totally brilliant artistic collaborator,” and the paintings going on to be worth thousands (pounds sterling or dollars… either way, they’re now quite valuable).

Mister Fleming was not a nice man to work for. He was mean.

The whole story, cleverly titled The Man with the Golden Grudge, is at the Mail Online website.