Matania art

The Incredible Artwork of

Fortunino Matania


Matania was born in Italy, and moved to England where he became famous illustrating the battlefield scenes of World War I — photography was in its infancy, so only an illustrator could capture these scenes!  Matania had a photographic memory, and he put it to good use!

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.

ABOVE:  Matania’s art book of WWI battlefield scenes published in 2022 by The Book Palace

Matania did hundreds of WWI battlefield covers for England’s THE SPHERE magazine

The Story of Matania’s Amputated Foot

Over the 4 years that Matania was doing his art on various battlefields, he came close to death a number of times — but was not hurt — ironically, some years later a London trolly ran over his foot and it had to be amputated!   Matania actually carved his own artificial foot because he was dissatisfied with the others…

–Page 21 in the 2014 book Goodbye, Old Man

BELOW:  Matania’s most famous illustration, “Goodbye, Old Man” — a soldier stops to say goodbye to his dying horse.  Animal lovers were very moved by this scene, and it was reprinted over the years….

Matania’s drawing of a giant canon reminded me of the 1957 Pride and the Passion movie with Cary Grant & Frank Sinatra & Shophia Loren that I saw when I was young — that giant canon blew me away!!

BELOW:  Matania’s PORTFOLIO book published in 2021 by The Book Palace in England

BELOW:  Matania’s awesome Studio in 1950….

BELOW:  A beautiful Cleopatra

BELOW:  Matania’s incredible 1916 British Munitions Factory illustration!

BELOW:  DaVinci painting the Mona Lisa…….

…..and the entire scene!  Trying to get the Mona Lisa to smile!  HA!!

BELOW:  The capture of Daniel Boone

BELOW:  St. George and the Dragon

BELOW:  The Great Stories book was published in 1970

Since today is Columbus Day 2022, I thought I’d post these 2 illustrations Matania did of Columbus….

This one is a shocker — I never knew that Columbus was ARRESTED for discovering the New World!!!

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BELOW:  Matania even illustrated the serialized When Worlds Collide!

BELOW:  Illustration for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Carson of Venus

BELOW:  Some of Matania’s BOOK COVERS

BELOW:  An original owned by a collector in Italy!

Google “Fortunino Matania art” and you can see hundreds of his illustrations online!

Below is a very “different” Matania illustration, but very insightful — especially for an artist who visits old ruins and imagines what they were like in the earlier days of history!

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King Richard II entertains his child bride Isabella — published in 1963