François Pinceau (‘François the Paintbrush’) never existed, or at least nobody with that real-life name did. The obvious pseudonym, and French at that for an Italian-language portfolio, hides the identity of an artist who was clearly skilled in both composition and technique, and who loved colour. The only artist we know of who had all those skills, was Italian, and who might have created such images, is Mario Laboccetta, but if so it was very late in his pre-Capri exile career.

If you have any more clues about the identity of Monsieur Paintbrush, we would love to hear from you.

Example illustration