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Piero Fornasetti

Piero Fornasetti

Mailand 1913 -
Mailand 1988


The Italian painter, sculptor, craftsman, and decorator Piero Fornasetti cultivated a highly original style throughout his career. Awe-struck by the past greatness of Italian art, Piero Fornasetti developed an eclectic style, not confining himself, however, to the motifs of the Novecento style, which was inspired by Neo-Classicism.
Instead, Piero Fornasetti also used Early Renaissance ornamental and pictorial motifs to decorate silk scarves, furniture, porcelain plates, vessels, and other similar objects.
Piero Fornasetti was also influenced by Surrealism and pittura metafisica. In 1930 Piero Fornasetti was given a scholarship to study painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan but was expelled from the academy in 1932. Fornasetti continued to paint in Milan and, in 1933, showed work at the Milan Triennale, including painted silk scarves, which attracted the notice of designer Gio Ponti. In the years that followed, Piero Fornasetti would collaborate closely on numerous projects with Gio Ponti. In his magazine, "Domus", Gio Ponti showcased work by Piero Fornasetti and Piero Fornasetti designed several covers for the magazine.
In 1950 Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti decorated the Casino in San Remo and, in 1952, they collaborated on the interiors of the magnificent transatlantic liner "Andrea Doria". One of their most important joint projects was the "Architettura" line in furniture designed by Gio Ponti and decorated with architectural quotations by Piero Fornasetti. Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti showed this furniture at the 1951 Triennale.
Piero Fornasetti designed furniture: round tables, which he decorated with trompe-l'oeil paintings of musical instruments or large suns. Piero Fornasetti's signature was the woman's face he used to decorate the "Tema e Variazioni" series. In 1970 Piero Fornasetti opened a shop of his own in Milan, where connoisseurs of his playful and imaginative designs can still buy them. In the 1980s, Piero Fornasetti's work was enormously popular with Postmodern designers.

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