Sunday, 1 December 2013

Italia Grafica

Italy was slow to adopt the poster form of advertising and when Les Maîtres de l’Affiche publication was complete in 1900 there were only 3 examples from Italy out of a total of 256. Although Italian graphic arts never quite acquired the distinctive national flavour or global influence of the French, German or Swiss traditions there were many fine artists and illustrators whose work combined visual wit with a directness of approach. These images come from 1919-20 when the most influential Italian illustrator for advertising was the incomparable Cappiello (who largely lived and worked in France). The Cappiello style of an arresting, gently humorous central image and a detailed portrayal of the product package against a flat colour ground can be seen in Italian advertising as late as the 1960s. What we see here include some examples from an earlier Art Nouveau influenced genre as well as some robust examples of the Cappiello tradition. 

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