The idea with the look for Alessan was that it should be as generic as possible without being uninteresting so as not to give the reader too defined a visualization of him. The cover is actually a stained glass window made by his imagined contemporaries depicting him at the “beginning” of his quest. Records of the legends are often glorified afterwards and so, him being a royal person, even his rustic appearance is “sweetened” somewhat. To make it short I thought, that this kind of window would have been made after the events of the book.
I also tried to convey a sense of post medieval stained glass art with his appearance and stance but not to the absolute, since Tigana is set in an imaginary land in an imaginary history.
The design for the second part continues the stained glass theme. Now the walls are made of marble instead of mahogany and the vines are now in autumn colors.