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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

fornasetti revisted

Lina Cavalieri plates



Area rug


According to Piero Fornasetti a single idea provided the opportunity to develop others ideas. He gave free play to his imagination to the point that most of his work is based on endless variations of several themes.Amongst these, the most recurrent are the sun, playing cards, harlequins, hands, self-portraits and so on. Actually the most famous is the one that Fornasetti himself called "Theme and Variations", published in a tiny, precious book and representing the enigmatic face of a woman. He found it glancing through a French magazine of the 19th century: her name was Lina Cavalieri. Perhaps he chose this face for its archetypal, classic female features. Like a Greek statue and enigmatic like the Mona Lisa she was perfect to be moulded into the idea Fornasetti had in his mind.With great modesty, all this work was reproduced on a series of everyday objects like plates, ashtrays, umbrellas stands and trays.At the beginning there were only six white plates decorated with black and white designs representing a female face. Then this series has spontaneously increased during the years until it reached 350 different variations on the theme of classical beauty.
I just love Fornasetti's work. I often see it being sold on eBay. I have a few plates in my collections. I love the graphic patterns. I know I am not very chatty as usual but the images say everything. Go to to view more.

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