Islands and Oceans

This theme is tied to the seafaring, exotic adventures of Corto Maltese, indefatigable explorer and maritime wanderer.

Hugo Pratt being a good Venetian, the sea is an integral part of his imaginative world. This subject is tied to Pratt’s love of travel and of travel writers like Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Herman Melville, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway…
Pratt, who loved to quote Montaigne’s “One should always have one’s boots on and be ready to leave”, puts Treasure Island, Stevenson’s masterpiece, in picture form. But it is above all with the famed “Una Ballata del Mare Salato” that the author gives us his best work, appropriating the world of islands and oceans.


The very first drawings Pratt ever made were of American Indians.

His love of the Indians, in particular those of the Northeastern United States (Iroquois and Mohawk) stayed with him for his whole life. Pratt created magnificent watercolors that were inspired by the Indian Wars and the War of Independence in North America.
He reached the peak of his graphic genius with the creation of Wheeling, a work dedicated to a city in Ohio that was plagued by clashes between the Native Americans and the white settlers.

The Military

Hugo Pratt experienced the Second World War while in the midst of people and armies of different nationalities..

In his watercolors as well as in his more famous panels, one can easily see the fascination he had for the beauty of military uniforms, with their colors and their characteristics. All these images—the flags, the insignia, and the badges of the Italian, English, or French armies, as well as of the Senegalese riflemen–are an exceptional testimony to what Pratt called “the military culture.”