A R A L D I C A & I L L U S T R A Z I O N E
H E R A L D R Y & I L L U S T R A T I O N
Rassegna stampa


Marco Foppoli lives in Brescia in Northern Italy. He was originating from Valtellina near Lake Como in fact in a part of Italy famous for its wine and honey and indeed a part of the world much affected by moving boundaries. Now in Italy, this alpine valley of Valtellina was part of Switzerland from 1512 to 1797 and before that it was part of the Duchy of Milan.

In the 1512 the militias of the Swiss canton of Graubunden (the Rhaetian Confederation of Three Leagues) seized this Italian speaking valley. Marco Foppoli feels great empathy with hi Swiss heritage, and the Swiss-North Italian heraldic style comes naturally to his hand. However he can still produce work in the gentler Italianate style.

His work is in great demand. He has received commissions from prelates of Vatican, and from Heraldic Office of the Presedent of Council of Ministers. Recently he designed new arms for the province of Milan and on a more modest scale for Piona Abbey on Lake Como.

As an enthusiastic memeber of the Swiss Heraldry Society (and the Italian and Scottish too) he has produced stylish bookplate for friends and luminaries. Artistically his designs are regarded as of the highest quality and it is said that they show all the boldness and imagination of the best Germanic artists of the last hundred years. However his style is nevertheless personal and individual rather than derived from the "greats".
Journal of the Heraldry Society (New Zealand Branch) Inc.
(No. 73, summer 2000)


Within the last year or so a new and exciting heraldic artist has come to the attention of the English-soeaking world. He is a young graphic artist living in Brescia in northern Italy, who has a great love of heraldry, a fine eye for the vibrant art of 13th and 14th centuries, and a sure tuch. His style a fine Gothic influenced by his Swiss heritage and his admiration of the elegance of the medieval heraldry of Northern Italy.
(No. 19, January 2003)


Just before Christmas, Italian heraldic artist Society member, Marco Foppoli presented the Society with a new book Stemmario episcopale laudense. This important book contains over fifty arms illustrated by Marco as well as the collected portraits of the Cardinals.

Members may not be familiar with the work of this young artist and I would like to take the opportunity both to thank Marco Foppoli for his contribution and to introduce members to his unique heraldic style. Here we let Marco take up the story

"I was born in 1967 in Brescia, Lombardy in northern Italy but my family is from the Alpine valley of Valtellina bordering Switzerland, indeed my valley was part of Switzerland from 1512 to 1797. I am married to Amelia and have a two month old daughter, the beautiful Ginevra."

"My love of heraldry comes from the mixture of my love for history and graphic arts. Consequently heraldry has become a big part of my work of illustrator and graphic artist In Italy the style of heraldic art is often 'fossilized' in the 18-19th century with too much naturalistic and decorative effect. Many Italian heraldists are working in the style of the Italian ex-monarchy, but this was only a 'bureaucratic style' created by the Italian heraldic officers in last years of 19th century to unify the different heraldic customs of the pre-unity states. If you observe the historical examples, the heraldry of northern Italy (a German of French 'continental' style) is very, very different from the heraldic style of the South regions which were influenced by Spain."
"For my heraldic artwork I take inspiration from the historical heraldry of my region. Having studies the medieval ordinaries in Lombardy and our gothic heraldic monuments, some Italian heraldists say that my heraldic art 'seems German' because I am inspired by the northern Italian gothic art! However the style and the customs of heraldry of my valley are 'Swiss' and because the heraldry originated when Valtellina was part part of Three Leagues; I feel the Societ? Suisse d'H?raldique to be my true 'national heraldic society!'"

"Sometimes I collaborate with the 'Ufficio araldico presso la Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri' of Rome (heraldic bureau of governement) drawing the official designs for arms granted by the President of Republic to Italian civic, district and regional authorities (comuni, citt?, province and regioni). I have painted the official designs (miniatura) of new arms of Provincia di Milano (1998). Unfortunately some Officers of Ufficio araldico do not approve of my style, and I must always curb my heraldic way to the dull 'bureaucratic' style!"
"There are several pieces of my work in Stephen Slater's new book The complete book of heraldry (Anness Publishing Ltd. 2002) and I have written many illustrated books of heraldry about my region. Above all I am proudest of the ordinary, in full colour, of all 78 comuni of Valtellina: 'Stemmi dei Comuni di Valtellina e Valchiavenna' (Alpinia ed. 1999). As I have already mentioned I am a memebr of Societ? Suisse d'H?raldique and I collaborated with the Archives H?raldiques Suisse to write and illustrate articles about the heraldry of the Alps. I am also member of the Academie Internationale d'H?raldique. I paint heraldic artworks, ex libris plates, genealogical trees, etc. for private individuals, civic bodies, associations, prelates."

"Last but not least, I am a great lover of history and of course the heraldry of Scotland (my dear friend Steve Slater says that I am a Scotophile!) Maybe this is because the stock inhabitants of my valley were a mix between Orobii and Raeti, Celtic tribes of the Alps, proudly enemies of Rome along with other Celtic countries."
Via A. Frugoni, 11 - 25127 Brescia - Italia Tel. & fax 0039 - 030 - 3386599
P.I. 03480970171
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