Once again, I’ve chosen to show you how Achille Beltrame, the prolific author of thousands of covers of the Domenica del Corriere weekly, works on the representation of recent events without having any photographic source. The event is of course the execution of Cesare Battisti (12 July 1916). This cover was published on 30th July and it’s clear that the photographs of his execution were not yet available in Italy.
Indeed, his execution is represented in a very “traditional” way, whereas we know that the reality was very different:
– In the drawing, Battisti is hanged, whereas he was garroted
– In the drawing, Battisti wears his uniform whereas he was given civilian clothes
– The executioners seem strangely elegant in the drawing
– In the drawing, Austrian officers are staring silently to Cesare Battisti, they look impressed by his attitude. We know that during his execution Battisti was laughed at by Austrian officers, privates and civilians.