La Domenica del Corriere (“Sunday Courier”) was Sunday insert for Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper that ran for 90 years, from 1899 to 1989. For most of that time the section featured a full-page illustration on its cover each week.
These were often dramatic gouache or watercolor illustrations, almost in a pulp-illustration vein, but they presumably illustrated actual news stories (think of all of the notable and dramatic events that occurred during that period of time).
There is a site devoted to them at www.illustrated-history.org/, containing an archive of the illustrations and a bit of the history. The site is in Italian, and I’m afraid my Italian is even weaker then my French, so I relied on Google Translate to find my way around.
There is a search function on the home page that allows you to search by region (Per luoghi), by artist (Per autore) or event (Ricerca avanzata), with attendant drop-down menus.
It appears that there is a concentration on two artists in particular, Walter Molino (above left) and Achillies Beltrame (above right), whose work is sought after by collectors. Searching for these two may be a good place to start. Once you are on a page with a featured illustration, clicking on that image provides a pop-up with a wonderfully large reproduction of the painting. (I’ve included a full-size crop from a small section of each illustration above.) You can also informally browse from an illustration page to other pages by incrementing or decrementing the database number at the end of the URL in your browser’s address field.
Some of the illustrations are less interesting than others and there is some repetition of subject as they looked for sensational topics to illustrate (lots of train wrecks and other disasters), but some of these images are just wonderful and make the trouble of searching and browsing worth your while.
This is intended to be more of an illustrated history than an appreciation of the artists, but it serves as both. You can take a fascinating stroll through the early to mid 20th Century and view some wonderful pulp-style illustrations in the process.
I also found a blog on a site devoted to the paper, Blog del Club Domenica del Corriere, also in Italian, that features the illustrations, but doesn’t dwell on them exclusively.
[Link and suggestion courtesy of Jared Shear – see my post on Jared Shear]
6 Replies to “The illustrators of La Domenica del Corriere”
It’s amazing to think of a time before photojournalism, when newspaper readers depended on an artist’s conception for their take on news events. These artists must have worked on short deadlines and depended on their visual memories.
And perhaps more than a little from their imagination. I get the impression that many of the early ones were done from verbal reports.
Amazing. Thanks for the link!
Excited to see you are posting this link!! I hope people will take the time to seriously check out this body of work…..I can still remember the night I found this site, staring at hundreds of these wildly dynamic images. Each painting, especially those of Beltrame and Molino’s, are composed and rendered with the confidence and brush strokes of true masters.
It’s an amazing resource. I found myself so fascinated by both the artists and the subject matter that I spent way more time that I had intended, and plan to go back when I can.
I was wondering if there is a collectors market for the newspaper illustrations of Walter Molino, those printed and in the newspaper? I ask because i recently bought a set of Dali Bottles form Italy, and the seller included a newspaper, “La Domenica del Corriere”, from August 31, 1958! It has a front cover illustration (of a Bull Fight) and back cover illustration (of an arm Bank Robbery, i think) by Molino. The inside has other illustrations including a center double page with Fashion Design illustrations from Dior, Cardin, and others illustrated by Maria Pezzi. Even the comic strips are very nice. I am not a collector of this work, but I think the newspaper might be worth more than the bottles I bought. Does anyone here know what a newspaper with this type of illustrations might be worth to collectors? Thank you all.
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