Cover for Maghella, by Averardo CirielloCover for Maghella, by Averardo Ciriello
Covers from a French and a Dutch edition of Maghella

Averardo Ciriello was an Italian artist, best-known for his cover illustrations and film poster designs. He was born in Milan in 1918, and spent a large part of his childhood in Trieste. He returned to Milan to enroll at the Castello Sforzesco School of Applied Arts. When World War II broke out, he served in the Navy for five years. He used his drawing skills for the Press Propaganda department of the government, and for the official Navy newspaper. He made his debut as a mainstream illustrator in the Roman children's weekly Acqua Salata in 1944. He joined the boys' magazine L'Intrepido in the following year, and illustrated the first episode of 'Il Principe Azzurro' and the second episode of 'Giorgio Duca di Serano', called 'La Freccia d'Argento'.

From 1945, Ciriello was a regular cover artist for the magazine Sette, which consisted of mainly soft-erotic short stories and pin-ups. Ciriello also provided comic stories like 'Memorie di Giacomo Casanova', 'Casanova Farebbe Cosi' and a liberal interpretations of Guy De Maupassant's 'Bel Ami' to this adult-oriented weekly. In 1947, he also made the feature 'Follie 1947', which starred his character Macario and a host of scantily clad women. Censorship put an end to the magazine in 1953.

MenelikLucifera

Around the same period, Ciriello was also working for advertising agencies like Non and Ima. From the early 1950s, Ciriello was making satirical drawings for periodicals like Marc'Aurelio and Il Travasassimo, and he succeeded Walter Molino as the regular cover artist of Domenica del Corriere in 1966. He also illustrated for pulp magazines like Serena, Detective and Giorni, and he made a great many cover illustrations for erotic comic books like Menelik (published by Adelina Tattilo), Maghela (Publistrip) and Lucifera (Ediperiodici) in the 1970s. He provided interior artwork to the 'Amazonni' comic stories which he made with writer Giorgio Cavedon for the collection I Fumetti Fantastici (Ediperiodici, 1983). He remained active for the many pulp publications of Ediperiodici until well into the 1990s (Fantasy, Cuori Solitari, College, Casinella, I Casi Della Vita, Ah! Ah! Ah!, Palle Spaziali, Pig, Sesso Pinto, etc.).

Amazonni by Averardo Ciriello
Amazonni

Ciriello has gained most recognition through his work as a poster artist for Italian cinema productions, however. He designed his first movie posters for Lux Film in 1947, and since then provided over 3,000 drawings to many other distribution companies. Among his best-known posters are those for the movie dramas 'La Terra Trema' ('The Earth Trembles', 1948) and 'Il Mulino del Po' ('The Mill on the Po', 1949), the romance film 'Luci del Varietà' ('Variety Lights', 1951) and the comedy 'Divorzio all'Italiana' ('Divorce Italian Style', 1961). He is also known for illustrating the children's book 'Avventura a ciucopoli' by Gastone Simoni (Editoriale Romana, 1944), and Italian editions of 'The Mysterious Island' by Jules Verne (1944) and 'Treasure Island' by Robert Louis Stevenson (Mondadori, 1981).

Averardo Ciriello remained fit and active during his old age, and continued to attend festivals until at least 2009. He lived to become 98, and passed away in November 2016.

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