Italian Illustrators

Italian Illustrators

Through my purchase of the poster from the Mercato delle Stampe, I discovered several Italian illustrators from the early 20th century. Prior to my visit, I found little to no information on any Italian illustrators outside of a handful of contemporary artists (some of whose work is wonderful, but they’re too new to the world of illustration to find much information). Happily, upon my visit to this market (which I recommend if you’re ever in Rome and interested in vintage/second hand books and paper goods), I discovered atleast one name, that of Achille Beltrame, whom led to the discovery of several more upon a bit of research (thanks to google translate as unfortunately, my Italian is not all that strong).

Marcello Dudovich
Born in 1879 in Trieste, Italy, he moved to Milan in 1897 where he attended art school. After leaving, he was employed as a lithographer for a Record Art company. Through his father’s friendship with the famous artist Leopold Merlicovitz, he received his first commissions as an illustrator for advertising. Some of his most famous posters were created for Carpano, Fiat, Pirelli, Alfa Romea and a large Italian insurance agency, Assicurazioni Generali. He passed away in 1962.

Leopoldo Metlicovitz
Born in Trieste in 1868, Leopoldo Metlicovitz was a painter, advertising illustrator and stage designer. He was a member of the Liberty movement, the Italian Art Nouveau. He is considered one of the fathers of modern Italian posters. He was working as an apprentice to a printer in Udine where he learned lithography. Here he was noticed by Giulio Ricordi who invited him to Milan to work as an assistant engraver. He spent some time as a production designer in theatre before creating posters for the 1906 Universal Exhibition in Milan. From there he was invited to collaborate with several magazines as an illustrator and from there became known as a poster illustrator working on film and advertising posters.