- Full Description
This 96 page book features over 250 illustrations of original art and prints. The art presented here was used in preparation of the giant art book Drawing from History: The Forgotten Art of Fortunino Matania. Due to space considerations, some 125 illustrations in this catalogue were omitted from the art book. In the 1930s Matania's historical adventures were a regular feature in Britannia and Eve, many with delightful nudes and amazingly realistic details--stories of kings and queens, conquerors, adventurers, famous women of history, etc.
Matania was literally a child prodigy, with a photographic memory and the ability to reproduce startlingly real scenes. His pictures were published every week in Illustrazione Italiana from 1895-1902, in The Graphic from 1901-1904, and in The Sphere from 1904-1963. He made his name as a war illustrator, and after the war he cultivated an entirely different career. He contributed regularly to Britannia and Eve, and The Passing Show, where his Edgar Rice Burroughs and When Worlds Collide illustrations appeared, amongst others. His work has been used in numerous magazines and books such as Look & Learn, London Life and others.
Born in Naples in 1881, Fortunino Matania trained at his father's studio and illustrated his first book at the age of 14. He studied in Paris, Milan and London, where he worked on The Graphic. He returned to Italy at the age of 22 for military service in the Bersaglieri. He then returned to London where he joined the staff of The Sphere.
With the outbreak of World War I he became a war artist and spent nearly five years at the front drawing hundreds of sketches, which he would later translate into photo-realistic, large sized pictures for the leading periodicals. His work was admired by military experts and critics alike for his technical accomplishment and scrupulous accuracy. His war art features in virtually every history or encyclopaedia of WW I ever produced.
At the end of World War I Matania illustrated numerous ceremonies in London, including the coronation of Edward VII. During the first half of the 20th century he literally illustrated history as it happened. He was made a Chevalier of the Crown of Italy, and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and The Royal Institute of Art.
In his studio he maintained an enormous collection of artifacts to aid him in his work. He rarely made preliminary sketches, preferring to begin an elaborate illustration without previous preparation. It was as if he had an exact mental photograph of the art before he began to paint or draw. His reputation was such that he was visited in his studio in London by Annigoni, Russell Flint, and John Singer Sargent, and his work is collected and admired by many of today's greatest artists and illustrators.
He was an expert at historical scenes from all periods of history and his Ancient Roman and classical illustrations are particularly admired and collected. During WW II, many of his paintings and drawings were destroyed when his studio was bombed in the Blitz. He was so prolific, however, that many examples of his art still survive.
This is an ideal companion to the new volume on Matania, or a lower-priced way to become introduced to his work. Plenty of full color work inside.
- Additional Information
Item Code ARFM Publisher Book Palace Publish Date 2016 ISBN 9781907081323 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 9x11 # Pages 96pg Color Partial Color