East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Artistic inspiration: Michael Whelan

Yesterday, while taking a break from writing, I was browsing the Facebook updates and I stumbled on an image that I remembered from my high school days.
This one.


It is an illustration for Poul Anderson’s story Tiger by the Tail, part of the Dominic Flandry series.
It’s been thirty-five years, yet I still remember when I first saw it, and I still get the same feeling, the same thought…

I must write something like this one day or another.

The artist is the multi-award winner Michael Whelan, and I’m surprised and pleased at the number of my favorite books he illustrated. Here’s a small gallery of my favorite paintings by him.

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The Women of Edwin Georgi

Edwin Georgy was an American painter and illustrator that worked for magazines and publicity. He was self-taught, a fact that I find impressive – just as impressive as his experience as a WWI pilot.
He was especially well known for his women, and it seems fitting to post a gallery of Georgi’s women on the International Women’s Day.



Arabian Nights Art 3: Abu Kir & Abu Sir

arabian nights italy 1958 2Last installment and last gallery for the 1958 Fratelli Fabbri edition of a selection of tales from the Arabian Nights.

The last story in the book is The Tale of Abu Kir the Dyer and Abu Sir the Barber, and once again it is illustrated by Benvenuti. This is the widest selection of illustrations: the two previous tales got ten images each, but the final tale gets nineteen. And we won’t complain for that!

Once again, if you’d like to read the original, you can check out the version available at Sacred Texts.

For a complete version of the Arabian Nights, Project Gutenberg offers both the Andrew Lang translation, and the “complete” 1890 “Aldine edition”. But the Gutenberg guys really have a wide selection of versions of the book.

Print editions are many and deserve a separate post (maybe, one day).

And now, here’s the gallery.


An eye for details: Fortunino Matània

Picture No. 10933845I wonder if they ever called him ‘Nino’.

The fine gentleman in the photograph is Fortunino Matània (sometimes spelled Matania, without an accent).
He was born in Naples in 1881, but spent most of his life in London, and he worked as an illustrator – the family trade. He published in such magazines as L’Illustrazione Italiana, Illustration Francaise, The Sphere and later The Illustrated London News.
He did some editorial illustration, but today he is mostly remembered for his paintings of scenes from the Great War – he was in the field, working as a war artist (basically an artist following the troops and sketching from life scenes from the battlefield -not exactly a relaxing job).


But if today he’s remembered for his war paintings, in hist time he really became famous after the war Continue reading