Matania's work is magnificent. It does for scenes of the First World War that only a Technicolor Movie could achieve decades later - faithful recreation of a scene based on as much evidence as possible gather to fill the senses.
This smart, short book, like a gallery guide, takes you through the significant works of Fortunino Mantania. His ability was genius. As a child he could draw expertly. Then he took this expertise and did what no other artist could do before the advent of photo journalism or film and TV reportage - he brought the story to life.
Reading this gem you come away with the biography of the man, no less brilliant than Picasso, but on a mission to achieve different things, and the desire to see as many of his paintings as possible.
Poignantly, for any of us brought up on Look and Learn, we discover that in his 70s he was providing illustrations for this boys magazine with as much expertise as he had delivered for the Sphere and the London Illustrated News during the war years.