Thursday, August 27, 2009

Italian designer...Piero Fornasetti

Aren't these the espresso cups fantastic? These hand painted porcelain pieces are by Fornasetti from the "Matematica" collection. Made bespoke only, they and are exclusively available on Couture Lab. I'm so glad I found them, because I now have a new found love for Fornasetti pieces. I never really new much about the brand or the designer behind it, accept that they designed these cool black and white plates with a sort of renaissance woman's face on them.

The mastermind behind this brand is Italian artist Piero Fornasetti. Fornasetti was a painter, an interior decorator, an engraver of art books and creator of more than 11,000 items. He went on to become a respected interior designer during the Forties and Fifties and created pieces with a heavy emphasis on surface decoration.

Fornasatti looked to the past for inspiration and excavated classical and Renaissance iconography such as suns, moons, harlequins, hands, beautiful female faces, along with classical architectural features such as columns. You can find the Fornasetti style on hats, coats, chairs, pianos, plates and boxes, just to name a few.

The most popular series, The "Tema a Variazioni" (theme and variation) which features the face of a woman, is operatic soprano Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti found her face in a 19th century magazine. He was so fascinated with her face that he went on to create over 350 variations.

Foransetti's son, Barnaba is continuing his fathers hand crafted workshop tradition through the production and revival of his most popular pieces.

I have put together a small collection of Fornesetti vintage 50's and 60's for you to admire. Hope to you come to appreciate this artist and his art form as much as I have...Enjoy!

"Alta Matematica" Tray, Italy c1950's

Set of 12 "Eva" plates, Italy c1950's

A rare one of kind brass framed desk in pattern "Giornali", Italy c1955

Four panel "Library" Trompe L'Oeil folding screen, Italy c1970's

"Musica" double box, Italy c1950


  1. I love these too, aren't they fantastic!

    Love the espresso cup and the desk too, so unusual and stylish.

    Lovely post Mimi :)

  2. Terrific post Mimi - I never knew that Fornasetti produced furniture. The desk is incredible. Thanks for the history lesson. I love learning something new, especially when it comes to design. Hope you have a terrific weekend! ~ deb

  3. This was a GREAT lesson, thanks Mimi for the research! I'm a closet history nerd--I love this stuff!

  4. oh gosh, these pieces are so cool! italian designers always come up with oh-so chic stuff!

  5. Hi Mimi, finalli got to stop by, its been crazy, well the exspresso cups would be great for my husband he loves is coffee & as he is great at math's it would be an ideal gift, will go check them out, will I need a morgage to buy them? HEE. You can see why Italy has all these great buildings & fashion carn't you !!

  6. LOL...I guess you're right. I would have to mortgage my house to buy them too! Who knows..maybe one day. ;)