Friday, February 19, 2010


The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, and decorator Piero Fornasetti (1913 – 1988) cultivated a highly original style throughout his career. Awe-struck by the past greatness of Italian art, Fornasetti developed an eclectic style, not confining himself, however, to the motifs of the Novecento style, which was inspired by Neo-Classicism. Instead Fornasetti also used Early Renaissance ornamental and pictorial motifs to decorate silk scarves, furniture, porcelain plates, vessels, and other similar objects. Fornasetti was also influenced by Surrealism and Pittura Metafisica (Italian for Metaphysic Painting). His signature was the woman's face he used to decorate the "Tema e Variazioni" series, which was that of operatic soprano Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti later collaborated on numerous projects with design icon Gio Ponti: Ponti’s magazine, "Domus"; decorating a Casino in San Remo; the interiors of the magnificent transatlantic liner "Andrea Doria” and most notably joint ventured on the "Architettura" line of furniture designed by Ponti and decorated with architectural quotations by Fornasetti. Ponti and Fornasetti showcased this furniture line consisting of round tables decorated with trompe-l'oeil paintings of musical instruments or large suns at the 1951 Triennale. Fornasetti’s designs can be sourced through fine dealers and auction houses.

related links:

Tema e Variazioni plates (top)
Milan Cathedral folding screen (2nd)
Bibliotheca folding screen (3rd)
Sideboard by Gio Ponti edited by Fornasetti (4th)
Musical chair (bottom)

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