My Fornasetti crush started over 10 years ago when I saw the first collection at Barneys, New York and got us our very first wall plate. I wanted to share something about the designer himself, his inspirations and some pictures of his items in beautifully decorated rooms… What I most love is the sense of humour in his designs.
Piero Fornasetti, 10 November 1913 – 9 October 1988, was an Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver. He lived most of his life in Milan. He created more than 11,000 items, many featuring the face of a woman, operatic soprano Lina Cavalieri, as a motif. Fornasetti found her face in a 19th-century French magazine and admits he doesn’t really know what inspired him to create over 500 variations with Cavalieri’s face, “I began to make them and I never stopped.” And that’s how he chose her as his muse.
Other commeatures in his work include heavy use of black and white, with some bursts of vibrant colours, birds, butterflies, hot air balloons and the sun and time. His style is reminiscent of Greek and Roman architecture, by which he was heavily influenced.
Riz and I have been collecting Fornasetti china plates for many years now and usually buy one for each wedding anniversary or for Christmas. I absolutely adore his furniture as well, perhaps, one day I will invest in a special piece. We don’t have the plates up on the wall in our current flat, but I think this is how I eventually want to display them.
His son, Barnaba Fornasetti, continues to design in his father’s name. To see their current collections, visit their website.