Phillipp Dunn

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Indexed by Artist
All Prints are on A4 size 210mm x 297mm (8 5/16 inches x 11 11/16 inches)
They are printed on at least 250 gsm matt paper
Priced at A$10 each plus postage



The Famous "Midnight Ball" at the Savoy

This fine art print, measures 430mm x 300mm overall.

Matania was one of the most accomplished realistic illustrators and artists of his time,
and possibly best know for his work during the First World War when he worked for the Illustrated London News, the Sphere, as well as the British Government.

Italian by birth, he worked as an illustrator for newsmagazines worldwide,
but settled in London. In 1914 he became a war artist and visited the
front several times which allowed which allowed him to view wartime
conditions at first hand, and talk with soldiers about their experiences.

 Rich in detail and carefully composed, his stirring paintings often
depicted heroic or romantic scenes.

 This picture was commission by the world renown Savoy Hotel in London, and appeared in the Savoy  annual magazine "London’s Social Calendar".

The figure detail is exquisite, with the faces being recognizable portraits
of real personages attending the ball, which was a highlight of the London Social Scene.

Express postage within Australia $10

Click on Picture to enlarge
The enlargement is only a low resolution sample picture

From Time Magazine
Monday, Sep. 24, 1951

Classical Pin-Ups


Fortunino Matania, 70, thinks every picture should have a woman in it. In his London studio last week he pointed scornfully to the picture on his easel, a group of staid 18th Century English gentlemen in periwigs and ruffles. "Imagine!" said Artist Matania. "They ask me, me of all people, to paint a picture without women. Such sacrilege! Such a crazy world we live in!"

A whole generation of Britons would agree with Matania that the picture, commissioned by a Scottish firm "for a calendar or something," was a shocking waste of talent. Matania's place in 20th Century British art may not be high, but it is reasonably secure: nobody in his day drew pretty, scantily draped girls more to the British fancy.

High Life. Fortunino Matania came to Britain at the end of the Victorian era, when he was 19. The son of an Italian illustrator, he was trained to magazine work and covered the kinds of auspicious occasions now assigned to photographers. His first big job for a British journal was the coronation of Edward VII. "Rapidity and accuracy, that was what mattered," says Matania. He had both, and British editors kept him hopping for the next 25 years. In World War I, he spent four years in the trenches, sent out thousands of drawings that established him as one of the world's best news artists.

But it was after the war, when he switched to scenes of ancient high life for the British woman's magazine, Britannia and Eve, that Matania found his real career. He filled his London studio with reproductions of Roman furniture, pored over history books for suitably lively subjects. Then, with the help of models and statues, he began to paint such subjects as Samson & Delilah, the bacchanalian roisters of ancient Rome, and even early American Indian maidens—all with the same careful respect for accuracy and detail he had used in his news assignments.

Generally he managed to include one or two voluptuous nudes in each picture. "The public demanded it," says Matania. "If there was no nude, then the editor or I would get a shower of letters from readers asking politely why not." He was a standard in Britannia and Eve for 19 years.

Slices of Flesh. Although ill health has forced him to give up his regular magazine work, Matania is convinced that there is still a demand for his nudes, intends "to live as long as I can" and paint them. Leggy modern pinups he considers poor stuff. "Vulgar and artificial," he says. "Copies of photographs with slices of lovely flesh cut off the thighs."

He thinks art is even worse: "Those who paint modern pictures in bad faith are frauds. Those who paint them in good faith need a doctor. Those paintings will one day be in museums, like ancient instruments of torture, to show the depths to which art fell."


Charles Sims      “A Fairy Wooing”


Click on Picture to enlarge
The enlargement is a low resolution sample picture

A fine art print 297mmx 210mm overall in a glazed black and gilt frame


Express postage within Australia $10

Charles Sims RA RWS, 1873-1928: An Overview


Sims painted portraits, landscapes, and decorative paintings. He was one of that group of artists who continued to treat symbolic and romantic themes after the First World War.

He received his art education in London in the South Kensington and Royal Academy Schools, and in Paris in the ateliers of Julian and Baschet. His continental training probably accounts for his fluent handling of paint, and his confident treatment of space and atmosphere. These qualities rapidly gained him critical and academic success. A picture was bought for the Paris gallery of modern art, the Luxemburg, in 1897 and for the public gallery in Sydney, Australia in 1902. He held a highly successful one man show at the Leicester Gallery in 1906, and 'The Fountain'was bought for the Chantrey Bequest in 1908. Academic honours followed. He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1908, Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1911, Member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1914 and Royal Academician in 1915. He became keeper of the Royal Academy Schools in 1920.

The First World War proved to be a traumatic experience for Sims, from which he never recovered. His eldest son was killed and he was unbalanced by what he witnessed in France where he was sent as a war artist in 1918. His subsequent paintings often show signs of the mental disturbance which led him to resign his post at the Royal Academy Schools in 1926. In 1928, Sims committed suicide. A study of his life by one of his sons appeared in 1934, and a selection of his work appeared in the Last Romantics exhibition (Barbican Art Gallery, London 1989). -- Hilary Morgan