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Fortunino Matania 
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Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:37
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I thought some members may like to see this work "Queen Elizabeth Confers the knighthood on Sir Francis Drake" by Fortunino Matania, that appeared in 'Playhour' in early 1958. Just a one off in between the normal story spreads.

On the cover they mention it is there for readers to frame.

I have posted it here rather than the 'Playhour' topic in case anyone would like to comment on this and his other rather spectacular work.


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09 Nov 2015, 06:03
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Joined: 03 Mar 2007, 13:13
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Brilliant work by Matania. It's lovely to see him getting recognition after being out in the cold for quite a while. He was Frank Bellamy's favourite and they met in Matania's studio once and exchanged Christmas cards.
Thanks for sharing Matrix


09 Nov 2015, 11:11
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Joined: 14 Jun 2006, 11:56
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I agree that he was a fantastic artist. Leonard Matthews was also a big fan who reprinted a lot of Matania's work from old AP magazines in the comics he was responsible for - though it's possible that this piece was specially commissioned for Playhour (as the series of Kings and Queens of England in early issues of Look & Learn seem to have been). Interestingly Fleetway/IPC featured a whole load of Matania's illustrations during the 1970s (albeit in murky black and white) in an obscure annual called The Eagle Book of Amazing Stories.


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Last edited by philcom55 on 10 Nov 2015, 13:07, edited 1 time in total.

10 Nov 2015, 07:20
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Thanks for the replies! I must admit it really is very different for 'Playhour'.

I find his world war one pieces fascinating as well, here are a couple of examples.

I like the way the girl in the factory is looking his way, almost like he is taking a photo.


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10 Nov 2015, 08:53
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Marvellous! My Grandmother worked in an ordnance factory just like that, and suffered a genuine 'war wound' of her own when some of the acid they used in manufacturing shells burned a hole right through her foot! :shock:

Incidentally, Peter Richardson wrote an excellent feature on Matania for the third issue of his 'Illustrators' magazine - highly recommended if you've not already seen it (though somebody really ought to produce a whole book on him!).


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10 Nov 2015, 13:32
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Book Palace Books have a Fotunino Matania book in the works. See http://bookpalace.com/acatalog/Drawing_ ... SID=174for more details.


10 Nov 2015, 19:55
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Joined: 23 May 2006, 20:43
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So why does someone like Picasso sell for millions when a far better artist like this is virtually unknown? What would you rather have on your wall? Same goes for Monet - not my cup of tea at all. Give me a Leslie Caswell rendition any day.


10 Nov 2015, 22:07
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stevezodiac wrote:
So why does someone like Picasso sell for millions when a far better artist like this is virtually unknown? What would you rather have on your wall? Same goes for Monet - not my cup of tea at all. Give me a Leslie Caswell rendition any day.


If I had a pound for every time I've heard this I'd be a rich artist. :)

Basically, in art, "better" doesn't necessarily mean more photo-realistic. It can be about what they convey, or what radical techniques they bring to art. Van Gogh was a genius for his art, but still some people only notice he drew chairs a bit wonky.

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10 Nov 2015, 22:54
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Yes I suppose being the logical type I expect a painting to be exactly the same as the image that has been painted and will never be into impressionists.


10 Nov 2015, 23:39
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To be fair Matania originals do attract high bids at auction - though not in the same league as Roy Lichtenstein, whose comicbook-inspired 'Nurse' sold for over $95,000,000 a few days ago! :shock:


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11 Nov 2015, 00:09
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philcom55 wrote:
To be fair Matania originals do attract high bids at auction - though not in the same league as Roy Lichtenstein, whose comicbook-inspired 'Nurse' sold for over $95,000,000 a few days ago! :shock:


I've no time for Lichtenstein and his poor copies of comic art.

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11 Nov 2015, 00:48
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matrix wrote:
Thanks for the replies! I must admit it really is very different for 'Playhour'.

I find his world war one pieces fascinating as well, here are a couple of examples.

I like the way the girl in the factory is looking his way, almost like he is taking a photo.


Those are terrific! That ordnance factory one in particular. You can almost hear the noise!


11 Nov 2015, 12:16
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Joined: 03 Mar 2007, 13:13
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philcom55 wrote:
Interestingly Fleetway/IPC featured a whole load of Matania's illustrations during the 1970s (albeit in murky black and white) in an obscure annual called The Eagle Book of Amazing Stories.
Well, that's definitley a new one on me...shan't be chasing it though based on your recommendation :D Thanks Phil for providing that info though


11 Nov 2015, 12:57
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Joined: 23 May 2006, 20:43
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Similar in style I have been admiring the art of Miller Watt in early issues of Princess comic here are some examples:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I googled the name Miller Watt (in some issues there was a third name which I cannot remember) but I found a painter called Mary Miller Watt. Any relation?


19 Dec 2015, 17:00
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Great stuff! One of only a handful of comic artists that DC Thomson allowed to sign their own work!


19 Dec 2015, 17:06
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