The marvellous martian art of Alvim Correa

Martian fighting machines destroy a town in England - Alvim Correa

While perusing the British Library’s new print service I found several beautiful works by Alvim Correa. They’re deep in early science fiction territory and have a wonderful sort of Batteries-Not-Included-meets-Hammer-Horror flavour to them.

Digging a little deeper (thanks, Portuguese Wikipedia!) I found out that the illustrator’s full name is Henrique Alvim Corrêa – a Brazilian artist working in Belgium around the turn of the twentieth century who specialised in science fiction art. There was also a smidge of military art and a touch of erotica in his oeuvre but his most famous work illustrating a 1906 French language edition of HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds.

The Martians Arrive - Alvim Correa

Happily Abebooks actually has a copy up for sale and the item blurb attests to the splendour of the image work. Sadly the book is listed at £5632.62 and is therefore not within my whimsical purchase budget.

The reason that Correa’s work isn’t more well known is, I think, down to a couple of things. The first is that the 1906 version of The War of the Worlds only had a print run of 500 making copies of the work today both rare and out of normal price range. As such I’m guessing the images haven’t really circulated as they might have. The second is that Correa died young – he only lived to be 34 years old. This isn’t always a barrier to fame but it does mean there wasn’t as much work as perhaps there could have been.

The Martian Fighting Machines in the Thames Valley - Alvim Correa

It does strike me as odd that Taschen haven’t seen fit to bring out a coffee table book of his illustrations but until they do we must make do with images from the internet and be thankful for the “lifetime of the artist plus 70 years” copyright rule…

Martian fighting machine battles with warship Thunder Child - Alvim Correa