* 1913 Mailand
† 1988 Mailand
Piero Fornasetti was given a scholarship in 1930 to study painting at the Milan Accademia di Belle Arti but was expelled in 1932. After that, Piero Fornasetti continued to paint in Milan and also dabbled in sculpture, crafts, and interior decoration. Piero Fornasetti was influenced by both Surrealism and pittura metafisica but developed a highly distinctive, eclectic style informed by his enthusiasm for the great art of Italy's past. In crafts design, Piero Fornasetti did not confine himself to the Novecento motifs that were inspired by Neo-Classicism; instead he added Early Renaissance ornament and representational motifs to the repertoire with which he embellished textiles, furniture, porcelain plates, vessels, and similar objects. The work Piero Fornasetti showed at the 1933 Milan Triennale included painted silk scarves, which attracted the notice of designer Gio Ponti. In subsequent years, Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti collaborated on numerous projects. In 1950 Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti designed the interior of the Casino in San Remo. In 1952 Ponti and Fornasetti created the memorable interiors of the great transatlantic liner "Andrea Doria". For the "Architettura" line in furniture designed by Gio Ponti, Piero Fornasetti created architectural motifs as decoration. In 1951 Piero Fornasetti and Gio Ponti showed this furniture at the Milan Triennale. Piero Fornasetti also designed furniture himself, decorating it with trompe-l'oeil paintings of musical instruments or large suns. The woman's face he used to decorate the "Tema e Variazioni" series became Piero Fornasetti's signature ornament. In 1970 Piero Fornasetti opened a shop in Milan, where aficionados of his playful, imaginative designs can still acquire them.