Angelo Battistella: navigating poster art
Angelo Battistella was born in 1927 in Rovigno d’Istria (part of Italy at the time). He calls himself an “advertisement painter”.
Between the late 1940s and the early 1950s, the Istrian graphic artist – who had moved to Trieste by then – started a wonderful collaboration with the Advertisement Departments at Lloyd Triestino and Adriatica di Navigazione, creating a number of posters for the two global freight and passenger transport companies.
Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione (known as Italia Marittima since 2006, and based in Friuli’s capital city) was founded in 1836 in the shadow of the Habsburg Empire, and is one of the oldest shipping companies in the world.
Adriatica di Navigazione was founded in Venice in 1936 as part of the IRI Group (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale, i.e. Institute for Industrial Reconstruction).
As Battistella has explained in an interview published by Trieste’s leading daily newspaper a few years ago, “At the time, everything was done by hand, and your only work tools were pencils, paper, rulers, brushes, and obviously tempera colors. You started with plain sketches on A4 paper, just to give an idea of what you were thinking, with two or three written projects.”
And then, here is what those “plain sketches” turned into, thanks to the talent of this “advertisement painter”.