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Fortunino Matania (Italian/British, 1881-1963) was born in Naples in 1881 and died in 1963. By the age of twenty he was working in Paris and soon afterwards moned to London where he was appointed as an illustrator with The Graphic. After three years in England he had to go back to Italy to do his national military service.
After completing his military duties Matania returned to England where he was employed by The Sphere. King George V was impressed with Mantania's work and invited him to cover his tour of India.
During the First World War Mantania was employed by the Ministry of Propaganda. He visited the Western Front several times and his drawings of the conflict appeared in The Illustrated London News and the French journal, L'Illustration.
Although Alfred Hitchcock was given only a limited budget for the 1933 movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much, he knew the technical tricks which could camouflage the fact. The gripping Albert Hall sequence in which a diplomat is about to be assassinated was actually shot in the Lime Grove studio. A painting by Fortunino Matania reflected with a mirror into the camera lens served as most of the Albert Hall audience.
Matania is celebrated for his realistic portrayals of historical subjects and allegorical subjects. In 1902, Matania was invited to London to cover the Coronation of Edward VII for The Graphic. Matania thereafter covered every major Royal event -- marriage, christening, funeral, and coronation of British royalty, up to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. At the outbreak of World War I, Matania established himself as a war artist, much acclaimed for his graphic images of trench warfare. His painting for the Blue Cross entitled Goodbye, Old Man, showing a British soldier saying farewell to his dying horse, is a famous example of his war work.
After World War I, Matania began conjuring up scenes of ancient life for the British woman's magazine, Britannia and Eve,where Matania worked for 19 years. He filled his London studio with reproductions of Roman furniture and pored over history books for compelling subjects. With the help of models and statues, he visualized mythical and allegorical subjects, including Samson and Delilah. Matania was also recommended to film director Cecil B. DeMille for whom he created scenes of ancient Rome and Egypt that helped create set designs for the Ten Commandments.
Pirates of Venus, The Passing Show illustration
Pirates of Venus: Chapter X Mutiny
Click for full-size poster collage
VENUS (AMTOR) SERIES in the ERBzine C.H.A.S.E.R BIBLIOGRAPHY
2. Lost on Venus
3. Carson of Venus
5. The Wizard of Venus
(Tales of Three Planets)
See Part 2 in ERBzine 0254
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