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Tribute to Corto Maltese 5

Long before the term “graphic novel” entered the popular lexicon, the Italian cartoonist Hugo Pratt pioneered the long-form “drawn literature” story in 1967 when he introduced Corto Maltese in the epic adventure “The Ballad of the Salty Sea.”

Pratt set the standard for all adult adventure comics in Europe, and by the mid-1970s Corto was the continent’s most popular series and Pratt the world’s leading graphic novelist. “He is one of the true masters of comic art,” says Frank Miller.

Corto Maltese...
Long before the term “graphic novel” entered the popular lexicon, the Italian cartoonist Hugo Pratt pioneered the long-form “drawn literature” story in 1967 when he introduced Corto Maltese in the epic adventure “The Ballad of the Salty Sea.”

Pratt set the standard for all adult adventure comics in Europe, and by the mid-1970s Corto was the continent’s most popular series and Pratt the world’s leading graphic novelist. “He is one of the true masters of comic art,” says Frank Miller.

Corto Maltese is an Italian adventure comics series, created by Hugo Pratt in 1967.
I was just a child when I met his adventure´s books in ´70.
It features an enigmatic sea captain who lives in the first three decades of the 20th century. The comics are highly praised as some of the most artistic and literary graphic novels ever written and have been translated into numerous languages.
Corto Maltese (whose name is possibly derived from the Venetian Corte Maltese — Courtyard of the Maltese, today Corte Contarini del Bovolo, next to Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo) is a laconic sea captain adventuring during the early 20th century (1900-1920s).
A "rogue with a heart of gold", he is tolerant and sympathetic to the underdog. Born in Valletta on July 10, 1887, he is the son of a British sailor from Cornwall and an Andalusian–Romani witch and prostitute known as "La Niña de Gibraltar". As a boy growing up in the Jewish quarter of Córdoba, Maltese discovered that he had no fate line on his palm and therefore carved his own with his father's razor, determining that his fate was his to choose.
Although maintaining a neutral position, Corto instinctively supports the disadvantaged and oppressed.

The character embodies the author's skepticism of national, ideological and religious assertions. Corto befriends people from all walks of life, including the murderous Russian Rasputin (no relation with the historical figure, apart from physical resemblance and some character traits), British heir Tristan Bantam, voodoo priestess Gold Mouth and Czech academic Jeremiah Steiner. He also knows and meets various real-life historical figures, including Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, Butch Cassidy, James Joyce, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Frederick Rolfe, Joseph Conrad, Sukhbaatar, John Reed, White Russian general Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, Enver Pasha of Turkey and Sergei Semenov, modelled after Grigory Semyonov. His acquaintances treat him with great respect, as when a telephone call to Joseph Stalin frees him from arrest when he is threatened with execution on the border of Turkey and Armenia.

Corto's favourite reading is Utopia by Thomas More, but he never finishes it. He also read books by London, Lugones, Stevenson, Melville and Conrad, and quotes Rimbaud.

Corto Maltese stories range from straight historical adventure to occult dream sequences. He is present when the Red Baron is shot down, helps the Jívaro in South America, and flees Fascists in Venice, but also unwittingly helps Merlin and Oberon to defend Britain and helps Tristan Bantam to visit the lost continent of Mu.

Chronologically, the first Corto Maltese adventure, La giovinezza (The Early Years), happens during the Russo-Japanese War.
In other albums he experiences the Great War in several locations, participates in the Russian Civil War after the October Revolution, and appears during the early stages of Fascist Italy. In a separate series by Pratt, Gli Scorpioni del Deserto (The Desert Scorpions), he is described as disappearing in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

30x40x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
©2017 Federica Masini
Portrait of Corto Maltese - Painting, 30x40x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Canvas, Celebrity, Culture, Portraits, Beach, Fantasy, Corto Maltese, Portrait, Federica Masini

Federica Masini ~ Portrait of Corto Maltese
Painting

100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
©2017 Federica Masini
Corto Maltese in Venice - Painting, 100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Portraiture, Canvas, Architecture, Celebrity, Cities, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, Portraits, Corto Maltese, Venezia, Venedig, Venice, Italy, Federica Masini

Federica Masini ~ Corto Maltese in Venice
Painting

100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
©2017 Federica Masini
Corto Maltese, Les Femmes - Painting, 100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Figurative Art, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Canvas, Love / Romance, Asia, Celebrity, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, World Culture, Fairytales, Landscape, Travel, Fantasy, Corto Maltese, Hugo Pratt, Federica Masini, Comics, Culture, Adventure

Federica Masini ~ Corto Maltese, Les Femmes
Painting

100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
©2017 Federica Masini
The Ballad of the salt sea - Painting, 100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Canvas, Water, Love / Romance, Celebrity, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, World Culture, Fairytales, Graffiti, Landscape, Seascape, Portraits, Beach, Travel, Fantasy, Corto Maltese, The Ballad of the salt Sea, Federica Masini

Federica Masini ~ The Ballad of the salt sea
Painting

100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
©2017 Federica Masini
Corto Maltese - Painting, 100x50x2 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Figurative Art, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Canvas, Water, Love / Romance, Animals, Abstract Art, Boat, Sailboat, Black and White, Celebrity, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, Ships, Seascape, Portraits, Beach, Corto Maltese, The Ballad of the Salt Sea, Federica Masini

Federica Masini ~ Corto Maltese
Painting

Other galleries by Federica Masini (Selection)

Writers 12 Images

30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
Paul Verlaine - Painting, 30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Realism, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Paper, Love / Romance, Celebrity, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, Dark-Fantasy, Education, Mortality, Portraits, History, Fantasy, Paul Verlaine, Verlaine, Federica Masini, poète maudit, cursed poet
30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
Potrait of Charles Baudelaire - Painting, 30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Realism, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Paper, Love / Romance, Celebrity, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, Dark-Fantasy, Portraits, Fantasy, Charles Baudelaire, French Poet, Les Fleurs du mal, The Flowers of Evil, Federica Masini
30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
Portrait of Arthur Rimbaud - Painting, 30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Classicism, Illustration, Contemporary painting, Pop Art, Folk, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Paper, Love / Romance, Abstract Art, Black and White, Celebrity, Culture, Pop Culture / celebrity, Mortality, Fantasy, Arthur Rimbaud, Poet, Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud, Federica Masini, portrait

Portraits 116 Images

40x30x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
Rebel Rebel, Portrait of D.Bowie - Painting, 40x30x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Outsider Art, Pop Art, Portraiture, Realism, Street Art (Urban Art), Contemporary painting, Paper, Abstract Art, Graffiti, Love / Romance, Pop Culture / celebrity, Portraits, Fantasy, David Bowie, Bowie, Rebel Rebel, Ziggy Stardust, David Robert Jones, Federica Masini
30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
Robert Smith and Mary Pool - Painting, 30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Pop Art, Portraiture, Street Art (Urban Art), Paper, Comics, Dark-Fantasy, Family, Love / Romance, Fairytales, Pop Culture / celebrity, Portraits, Fantasy, Mary Pool, Robert Smith, the cure, Robert and Mary, Robert Smith and Mary Pool, dark, love, Federica Masini
30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini
Only Lovers Left Alive - Painting, 30x40x0 cm ©2017 by Federica Masini - Abstract Art, Illustration, Pop Art, Portraiture, Realism, Street Art (Urban Art), Contemporary painting, Paper, Dark-Fantasy, Graffiti, Culture, Love / Romance, Pop Culture / celebrity, Portraits, Cartoon, Fantasy, Adam and Eve, Only lovers left alive, Solo gli amanti sopravvivono, Les Derniers Amants, Jim Jarmusch, Tanger, Detroit, Vampir, Vampire, Federica Masini