Marcello Dudovich was an Italian painter, illustrator and poster designer. Together with Leonetto Cappiello, Adolfo Hohenstein, Giovanni Maria Mataloni and Leopoldo Metlicovitz he is considered one of the progenitors of Italian poster design and one of the greatest Italian poster artists. He was inspired by Edward Penfield, his friend and teacher Adolfo Hohenstein and Alphonse Mucha. But ultimately his reputation comes from the fact that he developed his own very distinctive and richly colored style.
He was born in Trieste to an Italian mother and a Dalmatian father, who was a fervent Italian irredentist who fought alongside Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Third Italian War of Independence. Marcello attended the prestigious Royal School of Trieste. After completing his studies, he began working with his father as a lithographer and illustrator for advertising works, prints and posters. He moved from Trieste to Milan in 1897 after attending a professional art school. He was recruited as a lithographer by Ricordi, a music publisher, and was given the task of designing advertisements. In 1899 he moved to Bologna, where he worked for the publisher Edmondo Chappuis, designing billboards, book covers and illustrations.
In 1900 he won the Gold Medal at the World Exhibition in Paris. In 1905 Dudovich returned to Milan to rejoin Ricordi. Here, in the following years, he designed some of his well-known posters, including a series of famous advertising posters for the E & A Mele department stores in Naples and Borsalino. In the 1920s he created several posters for the La Rinascente department store in Milan and in 1930 he designed an important poster for Pirelli. After World War II he moved away from the world of commercial art, focusing instead on painting.