Donato Giancola

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Donato Giancola
Born 1967
Nationality American
Known for Fantasy art
Notable work Magic: The Gathering
Awards World Fantasy Award, Chesley Awards, Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist

Donato Giancola (born 1967) is an American artist specializing in narrative realism with science fiction and fantasy content.


Donato Giancola was born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, near Burlington, in the state of Vermont. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.[1]

Giancola first majored in electrical engineering at the University of Vermont, but left for Syracuse University to seriously pursue painting in 1989. He graduated with a BFA in 1992.[1]

Giancola describes himself and his work as a 'classical-abstract-realist working with science fiction and fantasy' and lists Hans Memling, Jan van Eyck, Velázquez, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Piet Mondrian, Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian as his favorite artists.[2]

Giancola has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.[3] He has been described as a "cult hero" among fantasy collectible card game players.[4] In 2008, the Bennington Banner referred to him as "arguably the most popular and successful sci-fi/fantasy artist working today".[5]


Giancola's work has won many awards and accolades with highlights including:

  • Hamilton King Award for Excellence, Society of Illustrators, 2008.
  • World Fantasy Award: Best Artist, 2004.[6]
  • Eighteen Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA) including their award for Artistic Achievement in 2002.
  • Several Silver and Gold Awards as well as Honorable Mention from Spectrum's Best of Contemporary Fantastic Art.
  • Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, 2006, 2007, 2009; also nominated six times.
  • Several Awards of Merit, Society of Illustrators, 'Our Own Show' exhibitions.
  • Two Best of Shows Award and Best Professional Artist, Lunacon Science Fiction Convention
  • Art Renewal Center, International Salon 2004, first place, figurative category.[7]

Art exhibitions[edit]

  • Donato Giancola: From Middle Earth to Outer Space and Beyond, Huntsville (Alabama) Museum of Art, 2013-2014.
  • Magical Adventures: Fantasy Art from The Frank Collection, University of Maryland, College Park, 2004.
  • Illustrators, The Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition of Illustration, 128 East 63rd Street, New York, New York. 1999-2004.
  • The Art of 'The Lord of the Rings', Exhibition of book cover and interior illustration, Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont, 2002.


  1. ^ a b Troy, Jeanne (July 18, 2007). "Sci-fi painter Donato Giancola's work on display at SVAC", Bennington Banner.
  2. ^ Magic the Gathering, April 2003 Interview, 'Behind the Canvas: Donato Giancola'
  3. ^
  4. ^ Alesia, Tom (August 18, 2000). "Fantasy: the Gathering", Wisconsin State Journal, p. F1.
  5. ^ (July 22, 2008). "'Fantasy' master Giancola debuts workshop at SVAC", Bennington Banner.
  6. ^ World Fantasy Convention (2010). "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 4 Feb 2011. 
  7. ^ First International ARC Salon Competition

External links[edit]