Today let’s take a view on two Italian Peplum film. Siege of Syracuse (1960) and The Giant of Metropolis (1961) “Sword and sandal” films were very popular during the 60´s. Most of them filmed in Italy and Spain. These two with matte paintings by Joseph Natanson, Poland born surrealistic painter that started his career as matte artist in London with The red Shoes (1947) He moved to Italy during the early 50´s and became the principal matte painter at Cinecitta. There were only a few Italian artists whom from time to time executed matte paintings, so eventually Joseph Natanson could be recognised as the main matte artist working at the Italian film Industry.
Siege of Syracuse was filmed at Cinecitta using his huge water tank with full scale replicas of roman ships.
Syracuse walls with the legendary burning mirrors that Archimedes is said to have used to defence the city. Huge baking with sky and far away city walls painted.
Joseph Natanson matte paintings to extend the sets.
For The giant of Metropolis Joseph Natanson was again in charge of matte paintings.
Italian constructor Sergio Scalia was responsible for the model miniatures.