Dell’Orco (?-2013) had an early interest in comic books and grew up reading the comics of famous German/Italian artist Kurt Caesar. He began working as an illustrator from a young age. During his teenage years he was apprenticed to Enrico DeSeta, a cartoonist who later also worked on film posters before he began working for the Favalli Brothers. The Favellis ran the publicity department at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, making them the largest single production house of European film posters in the immediate post-war period.
When one of the Favalli brothers died, Dell’Orco migrated, along with many colleagues, to the D’Ami studio in Milan. The studio was set up by two brothers in 1954, Roy as illustrator and Piero as money man. In 1960, they fell out and work began to dry up, causing a number of their represented artists to find work elsewhere, mostly in London. Dell’Orco signed up with the Bryan Colmer agency and began painting book covers.
Dell’Orco, a life-long aviation fan, relished a commission from Fleetway Publication to paint book covers for his favoured subject matter – war - painting around 300 covers throughout the 1960s. Dell’Orco’s hallmark minimalism often focuses on a single action or object: a plane soaring through the sky or a lone figure walking out from the depths of a jungle with one vivid background colour, so the action appears to explode off the page.
When the Bryan Colmer agency broke up at the end of the ‘60s, Dell’Orco returned to Italy. He recently produced a stunning series of paintings for an aeronautical museum in Italy. He died in 2013.