When it comes to magical, whimsical illustration, Piero Fornasetti is the king. As a long time favourite designer of the team at Arent&Pyke, we were pretty excited to discover the new collection, released at Maison&Objet in Paris this year, for Cole & Son. Eccentric motifs of fantastical flying machines, architectural details, playful monkeys, keys and owls all evoke a theatrical and magical space.
The iconic Fornasetti designs are the life work of Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver Piero Fornasetti (1913 – 1988). Something of a rebel, he was expelled from Art Academy in Milan for being subordinate, and then later took exile in Switzerland during World War 2. He created more than 11,000 items, with a lion’s share featuring variations of a woman’s face as a motif. The woman was operatic soprano Lina Cavalierii, whose image Fornasetti found in a 19th century magazine. When asked what inspired him to create more than 500 variations on the face of a woman, he simply replies, “I don’t know… I began to make them and I never stopped.” His style is highly influenced by Greek and Roman architecture, and his other works commonly feature the use of black and white, the sun and time.
Arent&Pyke are thrilled to be using some of the new collection in a project that is currently under construction in Sydney. This is an exciting project – a period home of grand proportion – and we are so inspired with the decorative possibilities. The scale of the residence offers opportunities that cannot be explored in more intimate dwellings, and so this stately home can bear a little bold and brave.
We have chosen ‘Nuvolette’ a moody expanse of etched cloud in black on white, for the intimate areas such as the robe and ensuite where the clients can get up close and personal with the gorgeous detail.
Commenting on the new collection, Fornasetti’s son and protégé stated: “Pablo Neruda once described my father as the magician of precious and precise magic and I think that this decorative collection beautifully captures the magic essence of the Fornasetti world”.
Fornasetti is available in Australia through Radford.