“Il Dramma” and Brunetta Mateldi’s women of class

Brunetta Mateldi,

Andreina Pagnani, agosto 1938

Here is an all-female gallery of Italian actresses, portrayed on the covers of “Il Dramma” by the great illustrator Brunetta Mateldi (born Bruna Moretti, Ivrea 1904-Milan 1989) in the 1930s and 1940s.

Mateldi dedicated most of her career to fashion illustrations, collaborating among others with “Il Corriere della Sera”, “L’Espresso”, “La Gazzetta del Popolo”, and “Scena Illustrata”. She once commented, “Every type of woman, at any age, can be a woman of class as long as her intelligence leads her to dress in the only way that suits her, and to do her make up and hair without offending her own type” (“Il Giorno della Donna”, 10 November 1959).

The watercolors and line drawings portraying these divas are, according to journalist Orio Vergani, “women’s stories, telling us about a time of femininity, with all the mystery of its coquetry and melancholy” (translated from A. Gigli Marchetti, “‘Il Giorno’: cinquant’anni di un quotidiano anticonformista”, Franco Angeli, Milan 2007).

How could we not admire these women of class, of mystery, of the theater and silver screen?

November 3, 2015