Mysterious muse and optical illusions: why we love the Fornasetti brand

Mysterious muse and optical illusions: why we love the Fornasetti brand

Lifelong love

One day he turned over the next page of the magazine – and saw her. He was so shocked by the purity of the proportions of her face and ideal beauty that he fell in love at first sight and made her his muse throughout her entire career. He is Piero Fornasetti, Italian artist and decorator, founder of the Fornasetti brand. She is opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Having begun her career as a dancer at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and then becoming a famous singer and film actress, she also became famous as “the most beautiful woman in the world.”

Piero Fornasetti and Lina Cavalieri

Piero Fornasetti and Lina Cavalieri


© Fornasetti press service



Fornasetti made a huge number of design sketches with Cavalieri’s face and gave her a new artistic life: here she is in Paris in the image of Dali, here a fly landed on her nose, here she is with a false mustache in the style of Charlie Chaplin, wearing glasses or a crown, and here she became sun or trying on a ski cap with a pompom. Looking into the designer’s archive, you can get lost in fractal images – throughout his life, Fornasetti created more than 400 variations of portraits, reflecting the slightest changes in the facial expressions of his muse.

Black bottomless eyes, looking sadly and mysteriously from Fornasetti objects, formed the basis of the Tema e Variazioni (theme with variations) series. It appeared in 1953 and became iconic – variations of the portrait applied to furniture, dishes, and lamps made the brand popular. This collection is still reproduced to this day by Pierrot’s son and art director of the brand, Barnaba Fornasetti. In 2016, the brand, under his artistic direction, collected 100 illustrations into a single book for the first time. In the same year, illustrations of Cavalieri became part of the set design for the opera Don Giovanni by Mozart, staged with the participation of the Fornasetti family.

By the way, the first hundred images from the “Theme and Variations” series were released in book form. 100 illustrations are printed on cotton paper using a hand press. The book is bound by hand and printed using monotype technique. The original brass dies, engraved using a vintage etching technique, are incorporated into the cover, giving each piece a unique look.

Unfortunately, in real life the meeting between Piero Fornasetti and Lina Cavalieri never took place – in 1944, a bomb hit her house. But in the world of fantasies, dreams and creative ideas, Fornasetti spent his entire life with his beloved.

Art in the home

From childhood, Fornasetti showed curiosity: he studied Renaissance frescoes and metaphysics, ancient Greek busts and facades of Milanese buildings, painted landscapes and still lifes, invented architectural elements and silhouettes of mysterious ladies. The Fornasetti brand, founded by him in 1940, turned the world of conventional interior items upside down – Fornasetti gave him his unique vision and passion for optical illusions and abstractions.

A feature of his approach was his focus on creating handmade decorative items that have artistic value, but meet the trends of the time and trends towards practicality in design: in his works the line between everyday life and art disappeared.

The world of Fornasetti is thought out to the smallest detail. The love that is visible in every stroke of the design creates a feeling of warmth and comfort, especially when it comes to wallpaper or small decorative decorations for the home. Objects are distinguished by conciseness, harmony and completeness of form. Painted in ink and watercolor, they remain an object of desire for many art lovers to this day. Today, designers and collectors celebrate his subtle allusions, eye-catching graphic images and amazing ability to combine seemingly incompatible things.

Romance, antiquity and Italy

Even one image can become an endless source of inspiration, a starting point, a theme that will lead to endless variations. But Fornasetti did not stop only at the beautiful face of his muse with a hypnotic gaze. The most common design elements of Fornasetti are the sun, playing cards, harlequin, hands and faces. In addition, Fornasetti worked a lot with the heritage of antiquity – his source of inspiration was his native Italy, where fragments of the great empire are found literally at every step.

Photo: Fornasetti press service
© Fornasetti press service

Romance is reflected in old maps and drawings of engineering structures. They feel the willpower of the people of the past, who sought to conquer the sky and the underground depths.

rafont ,
islam journal,,
Helvetica Font,
Avenir Font,
Gilroy Font,
Gotham Font,
Futura Font,
DHI Hair Transplant,
Hair Transplant Istanbul,
Hacklink Satış Sitesi,
Dental Implants Istanbul,
Hollywood Smile,
Islam Journal