Antonio Lupatelli

Antonio Lupatelli's nursery art from Fun in Toyland from the 1958 Jack and Jill Annual.

Antonio Lupatelli was an artist that every British child raised during the 1950's and 60's probably read, but today nobody knows his name. He was born in Busseto (near Parma, Italy) in 1930, and became one of the busiest illustrators of nursery type comics.

He began his drawing career in 1958 executing story-boards for animated cartoons for the French film company Payot Film. More or less at the same time he started contributing boards for Fleetway, designed with the nursery set in mind, that appeared in several weekly comics and various Christmas annuals. These included Freddy Frog, Fun in Toyland, Jack and Jill and a host of other stories that appeared in Jack and Jill and Playhour. He also contributed to various Sooty Annuals with scripts by Rinaldo Dami (Roy D'Ami).

In 1961 he started a long period of collaboration with Italian publisher Fratelli Fabbri Editori, creating artwork for both school books and fairy stories. Memorably the series I Cuccioli (The Spoons) under the pseudonym of Tony Wolf. From 1978 he began to work exclusively (as far as nursery illustrations) with the publisher Dami Editore, for which he created an infinity of books signing them with various pseudonyms. Amongst his creations for Dami were Le storie del Bosco (Stories of the Wood) and Il Viaggio delle Meraviglie (Travel of Wonders).

By the late 1980’s Lupatelli was designing beautifully illustrated playing card sets for Scarabeo of Turin. These included Tarocchi degli Gnomi (Tarocchi the Gnome 1987 - 22 cards), Tarocchi della Buona Tavola (Tarocchi of the Good Table 1990 - 78 cards), Lo Zodiaco degli Gnomi (Gnomes Zodiac 1988 – 22 cards) Tarocchi dei Celti, 22 cards.

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