Ezio Anichini: Nouveau Art, Vintage Artist
There are many things one can learn from old magazines, not the least of which is the existence of once popular and now comparatively forgotten illustrators and designers who contributed great talent to their respective periodicals. Ezio Anichini is an Italian artist/illustrator (born in Florence; 1886–1948) whose versatility, craft, and stylistic mastery were equal to many of the more well-known of his era. He could be Leon Bakst in one picture, Aubrey Beardsley in another, and a bit of Coles Phillips too—but the pictures were always Ezio’s own. It is a gift to discover him by chance, only to find that he was extremely prodigious during his lifetime.
Anichini’s work does not fit the modern zeitgeist that swept through Italy’s art scene after World War I, but in light of today’s return to ornament, his drawing, painting, and lettering have a curiously contemporary aura. What’s more, his sense of how to manipulate positive and negative space is impeccable.