1959 Corriere dei Piccoli Pictorial View of Algeria and Tunisia w/ Oil Deposits

Il Sahara. - Main View

1959 Corriere dei Piccoli Pictorial View of Algeria and Tunisia w/ Oil Deposits


Terra di Petrolio.


Il Sahara.
  1959 (undated)     14 x 21 in (35.56 x 53.34 cm)


A dramatic view of the Sahara and North Africa including Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, published c. 1959 in the Italian children's weekly Corriere dei Piccoli. The map highlights the natural resources of the region, most specifically potential oil wealth, and suggests the potential of Italian industry exploiting those resources.
A Closer Look
Oriented towards the north-northwest, the view displays North Africa from Marrakesh to Libya and south to the scattered settlements of the Sahara (Tindouf, Adrar Tamanrasset). On the surface, cities and towns, mountains, roads, and various means of conveyance (camels, horses, donkeys, modern machines) are illustrated. Below the surface, various minerals and resources (petroleum, iron, manganese, etc.) are depicted in stratification with arrows extending to the surface. An explanatory box at bottom-left describes the 'riches of the Sahara' despite its surface appearance as arid and desolate, while an illustration at bottom-right portrays local men standing near an oil rig.
North Afrian Oil
A schematic of the mineral resources of the Sahara might seem an odd choice for an illustration in a children's magazine. No doubt, the expectation was that Italian children would be curious about North Africa given Italy's historic interactions with the region. More immediately, the discovery of large oil reserves in Libya in 1959 was important international news.
Publication History and Census
This view appeared in the magazine Corriere dei Piccoli. It is undated, but the comic strip on the verso includes a copyright (in English) dated 1958. However, the subject matter rather suggests a date of 1959. 'Pat-' along the right edge is likely the artist's signature. The view is not cataloged among the holdings of any institution and has no known history on the market, while the Corriere dei Piccoli is held by a handful of institutions both within and outside of Italy.


Corriere dei Piccoli (1908 - 1995) was an Italian weekly publication for children that was the first major Italian periodical to regularly employ comic strips. It was founded in 1908 as a supplement to Corriere della Sera and was likewise edited by Luigi Albertini (1871 - 1941). Employing a wide range of formats and material, the Corriere dei Piccoli remained a leading children's publication for much of the 20th century and influenced nearly every Italian illustrator and comic book artist of the era. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Newsprint. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Some small areas of loss along original centerfold. Text on verso.