( Bari 14 luglio 1901 - Milano
10 maggio 1952 ).
was an Italian
Born in Bari, Boccasile was
the son of a perfumer. Early in his youth he lost his left
eye when a drop of quicklime fell in it while he drank from
a fountain. Nonetheless, he showed a precocious aptitude for
design and completed studies at the fine art school of his
After the death of his father
in 1925, he moved to Milan in order not to be a burden on
his family. Despite some initial difficulties, he eventually
gained a post at the Mauzan-Morzenti Agency. Over the next
few years he produced posters and illustrated fashion
magazines and gained fame for his sensual renderings of the
Following the lead of fellow
poster artist Achille Mauzan, Boccasile went to Buenos Aires
for a time where he met his future spouse Alma Corsi. Alma
Corsi. He then leaves again for Paris, where he had an issue
of the “Paris Tabou” excellent review dedicated to his work
and participated in the 1932 Salon des Independants.
Returning to Milan, he opened a publicity agency called ACTA
in Galleria del Corso with his friend Franco Aloi, and it is
here that he found his real creative outlet. He illustrated
for the Italian periodicals "La Donna" (1932), "Dea" and "La
Lettura" (1934), "Bertoldo" (1936), "Il Milione" (1938),
"L'Illustrazione del Medico" (1939), "Ecco", "Settebello"
and "Il Dramma" (1939) and designed many book covers for the
publishers Mondadori and Rizzoli'.
A supporter of Benito
Mussolini, Boccasile produced propaganda material for the
government. This included several racist and anti-semitic
posters. After the war he was imprisoned and tried for
collaborating with the Fascists and although acquitted, he
remained an outcast. He could not find work for a few years
as his signature was feared by prospective employers.
Nonetheless, he supported
himself by doing erotic sketches for English and French
publishers, and by 1946, after slightly changing his style,
Boccasile was back at work. He set up his own agency in
Milan where he created memorable posters for Paglieri
cosmetics, Chlorodont toothpaste, and Zenith footwear, all
bearing his signature.
He died prematurely in Milan,
from bronchitis and pleurisy, in 1952.