2018. I fancy working on precious historical pictures of the Great War
In 2018 I performed some illustrations for a dear colleague and friend who was working on a book (see below) dedicated to images and stories collected over time and related to the Great War 15/18, front of the Giudicarie. It is a western area of Trentino, then a border area between Italy and Austria.
We tried with the drawing to “animate” some photographs, images of daily life on that front.
The drawing at right next was inked and then painted in a monochrome watercolor way; in particular a grey of payne, that’s less heavy than the black and white of the two ink tests and hatches that I report immediately below.
The image reconstructs a very important moment, the delivery of mail. Time and place: summer 1915, during the fortification of an outpost around the votive church of San Lorenzo, sentinel looking from above at the Valley of the Chiese river, near Condino. Do not surprise the presence of a goat; it was quite usual then in military units to which it “ensured” with its own milk an important “supplement”food.
Original drawing size: 31×42 cm
Also on the basis of photographs from the war time, we tried to imagine the atmosphere of the village of Condino, immediately after the dramatic evacuation of the inhabitants (then subjects of the Austrian Empire).
The Austrian army had set back its front by a few kilometers and the Italian army had penetrated enemy territory to the area of Condino. Here the army had taken control after deporting the population elsewhere. I tried to describe with the drawing the desolate atmosphere that received the italian soldiers, inspirated from the diary of one of them.
The design is a simple cross-hatched china. Format 31×42
The illustration below was inspired by a photograph of the transport of the bodies of soldiers felt under snow avalanches downstream. The historical photograph depicts the column of Alpini, in a long field. I therefore ideally shifted the point of view, to draw the faces of the military as they could appear to an imaginary spectator, stationary on the edge of the path.
China ink, watercolor and hatching. Format: 43×59
I publish here on the side the cover of the above mentioned book of my friend and colleague Ovidio Pellizzari. A complex work, rich in images and documents of the time, precious for every history lover, not only local. The book, out of commerce, can be requested, compatible with the copies still available, directly to the Municipal Library of Borgo Chiese that edited the edition.
Images and stories from the Giudicarie Front
Municipal Library of Borgo Chiese, November 2018, pp. 365