Modern Icons: Piero Fornasetti

Modern Icons: Piero Fornasetti

Modern Icons: Piero Fornasetti

Piero Fornasetti (1913–1988) was a Milanese Renaissance man whose career included creating figurines and sculptures, decorating the San Remo Castle, silk-screening scarves, working with Gio Ponti, founding the Bibliofili Gallery and creating ornamental friezes and structures. Today his work is embraced globally, and his firm proceeds with boy Barnaba in the helm. The company relies heavily on its extensive archives, and its artisans continue to utilize the very same techniques as always.

Fornasetti took classical aesthetics and added lively and irreverent twists. Following is a look at how designers around the globe are utilizing Fornasetti products now.


Fornasetti Porcelain Plate – $168

In 1932, Piero Fornasetti wasexpelled from Brera Academy, in which he was studying drawing, for insubordination. That spirit is evident in this image (on a plate) of Lina Cavalieri sticking out her tongue. Cavalieri was an opera singer that Piero spied in a 19th-century French magazine; he was taken with her face that he used it over 350 designs over time.

Barnaba Fornasetti retains a lot of the production in-house in the Fornasetti atelier and licenses particular works to other businesses. This stunning background is based on Lina Cavalieri too, and was produced by Cole and Son.

Cardea Building Co..

I’m not sure why Cavalieri is popular in the loo; have you got any theories to talk about? If you are not prepared to commit to wallpapering a room in her image, try out a framed picture or 2.

MJ Lanphier

This background is currently somewhat hard to find, but you can find it on the Web by searching its title, Tema e Variazioni.

Get Back JoJo

The background comes in many colours, such as this burgundy as well as a.

Shirley Meisels

A series of plates adds into the distinctly contemporary Italian design of this room, including glamorous mosaic tile and a touch chevron Missoni print pillow.

Learn how to hang your plate collection

Exit – layout

Faces adorn these shapely vases, as well as the black attributes stamped onto the shapely white porcelain objects are striking.


These urns are relatively small bits, yet they catch the eye from throughout the room.

You may need to do some searching around to find similar vases, as many are limited versions. As we go to article, a similar vase is available in Barney’s New York. Make sure you check sites like Amazon, eBay and 1st Dibs when browsing for Fornasetti treasures.

Blue Desert Interiors

If Cavalieri does not look comfortable to you, Il Sole may. This is just another background that was produced by Cole and Son from Fornasetti’s archives. Suns were another favorite motif of Fornasetti’s.

Michael Fullen Design Group

This background, Malachite, adds depth. It’s offered in several vibrant colors, from Cole and Son.

Barneys New York

Fornasetti Theme and Variations 16-Inch Pillow – $160

This pillow isn’t cheap, but its image will give you a huge layout bang for your dollar.


Fornasetti Porcelain Wall Plate – $175

Finally, this porcelain plate of Cavalieri adorned in a ski mask that’s topped by a pom-pom is merely a personal favorite, so I thought I’d wrap up the ideabook with it. There is a type of contemporary street art sensibility to it. The good kind, not the Mr. Brainwash type. (I finally got around to seeing Exit Through the Present Shop this weekend, and I can’t quit thinking about it).

To learn more, I suggest visiting the Fornasetti Atelier online; there are a whole lot of great photographs (I especially loved seeing the Fornasetti house in Milan) and intriguing facts on the website. They also have a gallery of lots of the amazing licensed products, such as carpets, jewelry, tile and home fragrance products.

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