Stunning, inspirational Great War art of Fortunino Matania collected

Book Palace Books have just released 1914 – 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania – an extraordinary visual history of World War One, told through incredible photo realistic art of the time.

1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania

In August 1914, much of Europe was pitched into a war that would eclipse all others in terms of its industrial ferocity. In an era when photography and film recording were still in their infancy, much of the news was relayed through the work of reportage artists.

Pre-eminent amongst such artists was Fortunino Matania, who was The Sphere‘s artist-on-the-spot for events ranging from coronations to colliery disasters.

Fortunino Matania (1881 – 1963) was born in Naples, and is widely regarded as the greatest reportage illustrator of the early 20th century, coverage of the sinking of the Titanic brought him international fame as his reconstructions of that dreadful night seared their way into people’s consciousness across the world.

During World War One, Matania worked mainly for the British magazine The Sphere as their star illustrator, usually producing one full page illustration or more per weekly issue.

He was also employed by the British government and commissioned by individual British regiments.

  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania
  • 1914 - 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania

Sent to a variety of Fronts to cover the conflict, his illustrations created a gripping and, at times, life-affirming testimony to those traumatic times, drawn from the personal visits he made and interviews he conducted with survivors.

He saw wartime conditions at first hand and talked with soldiers about their experiences. From sketches and memory he could then finish a painting, often within a few days.

1914 – 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania, edited by Peter Richardson collects those images in large format for the first time ever, so that they can be viewed as they were intended. The book features over 150 paintings and drawings on the conflict, depicting all its horrors and special moments.

His work inspired many contemporary artists: Annigoni and Russell Flint both visited his studio, and many comic strip artists collected his work including Al Williamson, Roy Krenkel, Frank Frazetta, John Bolton, Bernie Wrightson, as well as film directors such as Cecil B DeMille and Alfred Hitchcock.

“We are proud to present a unique collection of some of his most poignant and awe-inspiring depictions of characters and events from the Great War,” say publishers Book Palace Books.

1914 – 1918 Through the eyes of Fortunino Matania – available here
Author: Peter Richardson (Editor)
Artist: Fortunino Matania
Publisher: Book Palace Books, July 2022
Number of pages: 160
Format: Hardcover; Part Colour illustrations
Size: 9″ x 11″ (216mm x 280mm)
ISBN: 9781913548179

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Art and Illustration, Books, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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