Variant: A Princess of Mars - Art by Fortunio Mantania
Variant: A Princess o Mars - McClurg editions - Fortunio Mantania
ABOUT THE ARTIST: On erbzine.com's marvelous website David Adams writes of this artist:
The thing that is most striking about Matania’s art is its startling realism. His almost photographic style retains the quality of the engravings of
the old masters, which is often so precise that one gets the impression that his pictures were created by a method of collage. For example, the
cover illustration for the Dover edition of “The Pirates of Venus and Lost on Venus” shows a girl in the arms of a winged man that one might well
imagine combined the wings of a bat, the head of an American Indian, and the limp body of a girl with arms twisted to accommodate the cut-
and-paste method. It’s not that this is not an effective picture -- indeed it is very well conceived -- but the image is so graphically startling that it
appears to have been done by another method than by painting alone.
Matania’s art looks old-fashioned to us today. Barrett informs us that “During his life, Matania remained aloof from every enthusiasm that the
impressionable art community might be smitten with: post-impressionism, symbolism, expressionism, cubism, surrealism. For all of these
‘schools’ he had an austere and pragmatic scorn. One will find no trace of these ‘isms’ in any of his work. For him, they might well have never
For this reason alone, Matania might well be the perfect Burroughsian artist, for the literary style of ERB remained similarly in the backwaters
of the 19th Century. The literary critic always runs into a brick wall when he tries to compare ERB’s work with his contemporaries simply
because he was an anachronism who continued to write like a Victorian despite his many enthusiasms for modern inventions and discoveries.
Variant: A Princess o Mars - G&D editions - Fortunio Mantania