British Cartoon Archive


Enzo Apicella was born on 26 June 1922 in Naples, the son of Salvatore Apicella, a local councillor. From 1941 to 1942 he studied languages at the Instituto Orientale, Naples, and over the next three years, while serving in the Italian Air Force, began contributing articles to Le Vie dell'Aria and Ali di Guerra.

After studying briefly at the film school in Rome in 1947, Apicella took up freelance design work, illustration and print journalism, before co-founding Melodramma, an opera magazine, in Venice in 1953. When this magazine folded in 1954 he came to England, where he produced cartoon films, designed sets for television programmes such as ABC TV's Bid for Fame, and also designed posters - including one for Schweppes in 1956.

Apicella is self-taught, and his cartoons have been published in Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, Ici Paris, Krokodil, Boz (including covers), Observer, Guardian, Punch (including covers), Time and Tide, Economist, Private Eye, Manifesto (journalism and political cartoons), Liberazione (political cartoons) and Harpers & Queen. He has also worked as an interior designer for almost a hundred and fifty restaurants, including seventy for the Pizza Express chain - for which he also designed the corporate identity. The critic Fay Maschler credited him with being "the first to throw out the raffia-clad Chianti bottles and plastic grapes hanging on fabric vines from London trattorie." However, he was also credited with introducing another visual cliche - the eighteen-inch peppermill.

A friend of Marc Boxer, Apicella was claimed as one of the creators of London's "Swinging Sixties". He was the designer of London's Arethusa Club, a co-founder of the Meridiana Restaurant, and co-owner of the Condotti Restaurant in Mayfair. Apart from his political cartoons he is well known for his captionless jokes about the world of food, restaurants and chefs. In 1974 a life-size seated waxwork dummy of him was created by ex-Madame Tussaud's sculptor Lynn Kramer for the Meridiana Restaurant.

  • Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), pp.4-5.
  • Sholto Byrnes "They Came, They Saw, They Created", Independent on Sunday, 7 January 2001, p.18.



21 uncatalogued originals [PU0015 - 0035]


Undated (approx. 60s)

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