Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site

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Classic Italian Graphic Artists

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Italy has produced more than her fair share of award-winning graphic artists.  The most known artists are those who created the manifesto pubblicitario, or advertising poster.

The birth of the modern poster-art can be attributed to the many talented Italian lithographers and graphic artists working in Italy and Paris at the turn of the last century for magazines, art studios and under direct commissions with companies.

The original posters and magazine covers are collectable art today.  But if you're not into art collecting, and enjoy the bright, happy images, you can always purchase a print or poster of the now classic images.

I've collected together here some representative works by 6 of the more well-known artists. 

Marcello Dudovich

Gino Boccasile

Plinio Codognato

Robert Falcucci

Leopoldo Metlicovitz

Leonetto Cappiello

(the most famous of them all)


Marcello Dudovich (b.1878 - d.1962 ) created stunning graphic designs for advertisers and public agencies.  There is a multi-lingual site dedicated to his work, which has collected together over 3000 of his works, and a 50 page biography.  It also tracks auctions of the artist's very collectable work.









Gino Boccasile (b.1901 - d.1952) specialized in magazine cover art.  He also did much work for the Italian Socialist Party.  He is best known, even infamous at the time, for his shapely, erotic, female figures.







Plinio Codognato (b.1878 - b.1940) was a painter, book illustrator and advertising poster artist.  His work, especially his illustrations, are highly collectable.







Robert Falcucci is probably best known for his Formula One car racing posters.






Leopoldo Metlicovitz (b.1868 - d.1944) is best known for his advertising posters for the Italian department store La Rinascente, and for his opera posters. 












Leonetto Cappiello (b.1878 - d.1942) is considered the father of modern poster art, so I've given him the largest gallery.  He shows a wide variety of styles, yet all his work is eye-catching, colorful, and often seemingly in motion.  He began his career in Paris as a caricaturist of the famous and infamous.  Then he moved into the poster advertising art field.  He was a master at creating an emotional image that the viewer associated with a product.  In fact, the product is often very small in the image itself. 























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