As many of you have probably noticed when looking through the pages of our first book, there are a couple of black and white illustrations that interact ironically with the images. Some of you have probably recognized Walter Molino, the author of those illustrations. Walter Molino (1915 – 1997) was an Italian illustrator who was famous, among other things, for creating the covers of Domenica del Corriere (the Sunday edition of Corriere). Below you will find some observations on the value and the impact of Molino’s work by one of his true “fans”, a collector as well as a journalist and anchorman, Marino Bartoletti!
I have it! I have it because I was born on Sunday!
And I really like thinking that the cover from the 30th of January 1949, which represents the improbable fight between Pietro Mascagni’s heirs, was actually created by Walter Molino for me.
Walter Molino was both Salgari and Zuckerberg. He was the one who gave the color to everyday life and gave a face to history and stories. He selected those elements which he considered “worthy” of being reported, and successfully mixed high and low registers with wisdom and geniality in a manner that would merit some sociological studies. A heroic dog that was saving the life of its master was as important as the wedding of Grace and Rainier III Prince of Monaco, a passerby hiding from a massacre was as fascinating as Pius XII. Ending up on the cover and the back cover meant entering a pantheon in which journalism wasn’t afraid of history. On the contrary: often news “created” history and sometimes it anticipated it. It certainly always certified it.
The Sunday edition of the Corriere only had two illustrators during its 100 years of existence: Antonio Beltrame and Walter Molino. As if the Church had only had two Popes. Both of them created phenomenal art and captions. If the Sistine Chapel had been built in the XX century, it would have definitely been painted by one of them. Maybe Beltrame would have added Fausto Coppi.
I keep my Sunday Editions of Corriere (I have so many) as relics.
Especially “this one”. And I actually got very lucky, because the day I was born was also the day the Corriere dei Piccoli (Corriere for kids) was issued. There was Tamarindo on the first page who “pointing at Timbuktu says “the first time you slip up, I’ll fire you” …poi soggiunge alla tribù, additando Timbuktu – Alla prima che mi fai, ti licenzio e te ne vai”. It always finished with that. At least until next Sunday.
It goes without saying that I was a very happy child.