Ferrari 1953 Mille Miglia Poster

Ferrari Mille Miglia art deco poster

enzo-ferrariEnzo Ferrari began his motorsport career as a driver with the Alfa Romeo team in 1920 and retired from driving in 1932 following the birth of his son Dino. He would now concentrate on management and the development of his racing team, Scuderia Ferrari, within Alfa. In 1939, after a falling-out with Alfa boss Ugo Gobbato, Ferrari left to build his own factory, but it wasn’t until after the war in 1947 that Enzo formed the racing team that we know today.

The team’s first major victory came in 1949 with the 24 hours of Le Mans race, and further successes quickly followed. But it was always his main aim to defeat the still dominant Alfas.

In 1953 Ferrari entered the newly built 340 MMMarzotto in the high-profile Mille Miglia endurance race, with the Italian driver Giannino Marzotto behind the wheel, to take on the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 driven by the Argentinian, Juan Fangio. Surviving a couple of crashes during the race and being forced to cut a hole in the bonnet of the car to add oil after the bonnet jammed, Marzotto carried on and eventually overtook Fangio’s crippled Alfa to win the race.

Whenever I formulate a composition for a Mille Miglia poster, I like to place the drama in the open countryside to concentrate on the cars and the headline text, as posters are supposed to do. Many paintings that attempt to recreate the race will feature cars racing through the towns and villages of Northern Italy, but I find this a distraction from the immediacy of my posters.

programme-textWhilst I would dearly love to claim the full credit for the beautiful design of the headline text in this poster, I need to confess that I redrew it from this image (pictured left), albeit tiny and very low resolution, which I believe appeared on the original programme cover for this event. So at least, I know it is authentic.

You can view this poster in our shop HERE.

 

 

 

Alfa Romeo Le Mans poster

I’ve been trying for some considerable time to incorporate one of the beautiful Monet compositions of poplars on the River Epte, painted while he was living at Giverny, into one of my posters. The particular painting I’ve shown here, part of a series that was painted through the summer of 1891, I love to see quite regularly at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, an hour or two from where I live in suffolk. I love the majestic sweep of the trees that suggests such elegant motion.

But after many false starts I finally found the composition that worked. This very dynamic image of the fabulous 1931 Alfa Romeo eight cylinder 2300 dropped straight into my drawing of the trees like a dream. This car seems to have won just about every race it entered, and the Alfa Romeo team was able to call on the very best drivers of the time, much like Ferrari can now. Here I feature this magnificent beast winning the 1931 Le Mans 24 hour race, beating the mighty 7 litre Mercedes-Benz SSK designed by Ferdinand Porsche into second place, with the very successful driving pair of Lord Howe and Henry Birkin of Great Britain behind the wheel. The two “Bentley Boys”, who had turned to Alfas after Bentley ceased racing, went on to achieve even more success with Enzo Ferrari’s team at Alfa.

I’m sure that many purists will argue that this is not an accurate representation of the Le Mans circuit, and they would be correct, but I tend to be a bit more dieselpunk in my approach to the composition of a piece of graphic design, and prefer that it be elegant, dynamic and visually pleasing rather than historically precise. I’m looking for a composition that will grace the most modern apartment as well as an automobile enthusiast’s garage.

For further information on this poster, and indeed the rest of my collection, please visit my website here.