SiStan ChapLee

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fab and Furious

British knights look,
amazed, at the Hippogriff

The Battle of Lampedusa
(3 Christians vs. 3 Muslims)

The search for the [almost] complete catalog of Fabrizio Clerici's illustrations for Ariosto's Orlando Furioso has proved successful, at last! The book, published in 1981 after an exhibition in Bologna (Italy), includes 158 ink and watercolor pictures made in 1964-67, that cover basically the whole poem while summarizing the whole of Clerici's career. The references to art history and other literary sources also are many, but the main influences apparently come from the drawings -- not the paintings -- by Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Füssli/Fuseli, possibly Picasso too (especially the Vollard Suite), as well as comics, children's books, pulp novels, and illustrated magazines.

This album can be listed, imho, among the greatest achievements in the history of illustration, together with William Blake's works for Paradise Lost, Salvador Dali's for Don Quixote, Gustave Dore's for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Renato Guttuso's for Les Misérables, Beppe Madaudo's for the Divine Comedy.