Comics are art – just funnier

Italian Comics Museum, Museo Nazionale Del Fumetto E Dell Immagine, presents its collection of comics in a print advertising campaign connecting to three well known paintings by Italian artist Andrea Mantegna and French artist Jacques-Louis David. With a little adjustment, the martyrdom scenes are given a lease of levity, enough to win a Silver CLIO award in 2009.

St Sebastian – The Shot

Saint Sebastian was a Christian saint and martyr from Milan, who is said to have been killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians, in the year 288. Andrea Mantegna’s painting, The Martydom of St Sebastian, one of three on the same subject, can be found in the Louvre. With the addition of an apple and a new title, the painting becomes a comic.

MUF The Shot version of Saint Sebastian

The Waking Up

Andrea Mantegna’s painting, The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, showed the crucified body of Jesus laid out on a marble slab, with mourners on the left. The new version adds an alarm clock, and removes the nail holes and the mourners.

MUF Waking Up version of Lamentation Over the Dead Christ

The Bill

The Death of Marat (La Mort de Marat) is a 1793 painting by Jacques-Louis David referring to the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat, killed in his bathtub during the French Revolution by Charlotte Corday. David painted his friend shortly after his death on July 13, 1793. The note in the painting has been transformed into a room service bill.

MUF The Bill version of The Death of Marat


The Comics are Art campaign was developed at JWT Italia, Milan, by executive creative director Pietro Maestri, art directors Cristiana Boccassini, Flavio Mainoli, copywriters Bruno Bertelli, Paolo Cesano and illustrator Manlio Truscia.