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Piero Fornasetti: Style with Purpose

Designs by Piero Fornasetti are quick to bring a smile, however many do not realize his importance in Italian Industrial Design culture. He was an artist whose talent extended into painting, drawing, and graphic design, he is also thought to have the largest output of furniture and objects during the 20th century. The Fornasetti Atelier began in Milan during the 1950s and is still under the artistic direction of his son. Operating under the edict ‘produce everyday objects enriched by the kind of decoration that would bring art into ordinary people’s homes’, it is logical works by Fornasetti would span art and design. His influences include classical drawings, frescos, architecture and 19th prints which are ingeniously manipulated to compliment forms. The design is flawless and useful, the decoration is all at once fanciful, sophisticated and sometimes humorous. He once said ‘I also consider myself the inventor of the tray, because at a certain point in our civilization people no longer knew how to hand over a glass, a message or a poem. I was born into a family with the worst kind of good taste, and I make terrible good taste the key to the liberation of the imagination.’

We are pleased to feature three lots of trays by Fornasetti in our July 30th Porcelain Sale. These charming groups illustrate the breadth of whit and whimsy he for which he was known. From tromp l’oeil coins, classical motifs to striking graphic images there is treasure for every taste.

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