July 12, 2013
Karloff’s Monster — holding the son of the Son of Frankenstein (1939) — strikes a commanding pose on this fotobusta, a large-format Italian lobby card. The photo insert shows The Monster mourning his felled friend, Lugosi’s Igor.
The monochromatic art is by the Corsican-born Francesco Giammari (1908-1973) who first came to prominence with his superb woodcuts illustrating the history and ethnography of his homeland. Moving to Italy, Giammari’s produced highly-charged symbolic art promoting the annexation of Corsica, a fascist ideal of the time. Today, Giammari, is regarded as one of the great Corsican artists for his early woodcuts as well as his fine art paintings and atmospheric landscapes.
Giammari’s movie poster art, running from the Thirties into the late Sixties, is quite traditional, generally featuring large portraits of the film’s principals. The striking, expressionistic Figlio di Frankenstein art shown here is a bit of a departure. Some of Giammari’s poster work is signed, simply, “Giam”. Note that he is sometimes misidentified in listings as “Gian Mari”.