John Rose was a regular cover artist for Fontana, one of the most prolific in the early days of the company in 1953-56, although he continued to provide covers until at least 1961 and possibly 1962. He was responsible for providing covers to many of Fontana's major writers, including Agatha Christie, Peter Cheyney, Howard Spring and Eric Williams as well as the religious writings of C. S. Lewis.
He also contributed covers to Digit Books (1963), Consul Books (1964) and possibly Corgi Books in the late 1960s.
Rose was born in Yorkshire in the 1920s and I know very little about his career other than that he spent 30 years illustrating books. In the late 1960s his career took a dramatic turn when he was asked by Stanley Kubrick to produce conceptual art for 2001: A Space Odyssey. He subsequently worked as an illustrator on such films as Nijinsky (starring Alan Bates, 1980), Supergirl (1984), Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1990) and In Love and War (1996).
He was the storyboard artist on Give My Regards to Broad Street (starring Paul McCartney, 1984), Sky Bandits (1986), Death Train (starring Pierce Brosnan and based on a story by Alistair MacLean, 1993), First Knight (1995), Jane Eyre (1996) and 101 Dalmations (starring Glenn Close, 1996), Prince Valiant (1997).
Some of his finest work is said to have been for films that never saw the light of day, including a movie storyboarded for David Lean (possibly Nostromo) and a version of Moby Dick which was to have starred Sean Connery as Captain Ahab.
The little gallery below shows how diverse his work was for Fontana.
Fontana Books 49R, 1955
Fontana Books 50R, 1955
Fontana Books 72, 1955
Fontana Books 103, 1956
Fontana Books 382, 1960
Fontana Books 760, 4th imp., 1962 [possibly same cover as Fontana 59, 1955]
Fontana Books 1074R, 1965 [same cover (with different colouring) as Fontana 49R]