Matania art
A gunner saying farewell to his dying horse. Fortunino Matania 1916. © Estate of Fortunino Matania/Mary Evans Picture Library


For the first half of the twentieth century, the artist Fortunino Matania captured some of the world’s most memorable and iconic moments.

From the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to the coronations of three British monarchs, this Italian-born illustrator recorded almost every major event as ‘special artist’ for popular illustrated magazine, The Sphere.

Historian Lucinda Gosling has made Fortunino Matania the focus of her recent studies and her new book.

The apogee of his prolific output was during the First World War when he produced paintings on a weekly basis, recording in breathtakingly realistic detail the multi-faceted nature of the conflict, and often visiting the front to gather material for his pictures.

Matania artwork 1
 Plug Street Wood, Fortunino Matania 1916. © Illustrated London News/Mary Evans Picture Library


The breadth and quality of Matania's work takes in scenes of trench life, the war at sea, the heat of battle and the war effort at home.

Meanwhile, his most famous picture, ‘Goodbye, Old Man,’ quickly became one of the most emotive images of the Great War.

Matania book cover

Goodbye Old Man Fortunino Matania © Illustrated London News/Mary Evans Picture Library


Admired by some of the finest artists of the period, and familiar to millions around the world, over 100 of Fortunino Matania’s pictures from the war have been brought together for the first time in a book by Lucinda Gosling, who will be introducing the power of Matania's work to Western Front Association members at a series of branch events. 

Luci will be speaking about Fortunino Matania’s work during the First World at the NW Kent Branch of the Western Front Association at the Royal British Legion, Orpington on 26th November 2015 at 7:30 pm.

Luci will also be talking on Fortunino Matania at the Herts/Beds WFA Branch at St. George’s School, Harpenden on 15th January at 2016.

Lucinda Gosling works as an historical specialist at Mary Evans Picture Library.

She has contributed to a variety of publications including History Today, Majesty and Illustration magazine.

She is the author of several books including 'Brushes & Bayonets', 'Debutantes & the London Season', 'Royal Coronations' and 'Great War Britain'.

Luci will be signing and selling copies of ‘Goodbye, Old Man’ at both events.

Prints of Matania’s First World War images can be purchased at

Prints of Matania’s First World War images can be purchased at

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