Skip to content

Paliano, the High City | Magic: The Gathering | Adam Paquette

An Illustration full of Renaissance and Antiquity

Adam Paquette | Paliano, the High City | Card from Magic: The Gathering, Edition Conspiracy from 2014

In the classic field of the card design, the artist shows us a wide panoramic view of the city of Paliano. The foreground is only hinted at by two small towers on the left and right edges of the picture. The middle ground shows an extensive cityscape along a river with bridges, aqueducts, and some representative buildings rising from the sea of houses. To the right of the centre of the picture, a cupola building is particularly striking.

Adam Paquette | Paliano, the Higher City | The complete illustration via

The city encloses a monumental structure, which is located in the background and reaches up to the cloudy sky. Titanic columns are arranged in a circle on pedestals and with capitals. They support a platform on which the literal upper town is located. Only a few buildings can be seen, as well as two towers, which are illuminated by sunlight.

The columns as well as the buildings and cloud bands reflect the warm sunlight. Together with the subdued colour choice of the picture, everything appears bright and a little supernatural.

Paliano is the capital of the world Fiora in MTG’s multiverse. Although there is eternal Renaissance here, as Wizards of the Coast describes, there are also intrigues, murder and corruption.

Detail of Paliano with the dominant dome

The architecture of the cityscape is dominated by two aspects: the Renaissance buildings of the lower city, which is particularly evident in the dome; and the monumental, antique-style columns that support the upper city.
The dome is strongly reminiscent of the Cathedral of Florence with the magnificent dome (built 1418-1434) by Filippo Brunelleschi.
The Cathedral of Florence, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture

The columns are channelled and show the classical elements of the antique column order: pedestal, column, capital. Due to the blurred painting style, the decorations of the capitals and the relief that decorates the city’s substructure towards the outside are not clearly visible.

Many of the illustrations for MAgic: The Gathering can be downloaded as wallpapers for all displays

Adam Paquette shows us a city that is clearly inspired by Renaissance Italy. The Renaissance, in turn, clearly refers to Antiquity, which is represented here by the gigantic columns.

References, Links and Images

Background information about MAgic: The Gathering and the Plane Fiora.(English)

Card and wallpaper can be found here.

The image of the Cathedral of Florence is taken from Wikimedia.

About the artist Adam Paquette

Adam Paquette | Image via

Adam Paquette (born 1986) has illustrated a large number of cards for various editions of Magic: The Gathering. His visual compositions are characterized by their high quality and richness of detail, which create a great tension with dynamic elements. Especially his landscapes and architectural pictures are excellent examples of the high artistic standards of Wizards of the Coast.

In addition to his work as an illustrator, he is artistically active in various fields (e.g. Collective Shaping – Body Movement and Visual Research). He currently lives in Berlin (yeay!).

Here you can find his website.

And here is his Instagram profile.

And his Twitter account.

And here his ArtStation profile.

All of his illustrations for Magic: The Gathering can be found here and are available as prints.

All of his illustrations for Magic: The Gathering can be found here and are available as prints.

You like that?

Support Art History Fantastics on Patreon &
get exclusive benefits!

Patreon is like subscription, membership and crowdfunding all in one.
Just a lot cooler.
Here you can see how it works.