A tall and rare, Italian glass lamp by Piero Fornasetti. The Chinoiserie subject lamp with a dark, Malachite green, finely mottled ground colour and decorated in typical Fornasetti style. Overall height (including shades) 37"/95cm approx
The glass lamp decorated from the inside, or reverse painted, with his unique combination of a lithographically printed 19th century image set off against a gold foil background. The decoration a mélange, very often of incongruous elements.
The principle subject, a Chinese dancer holding a mask, from a series of engravings designed by Jean-Pillement circa 1759. The figure surrounded with Roman architectural elements. Fornasetti has used this 18th century French Chinoiserie engraving as the source for his decoration on this lamp. The original engraving is shown as a detail.
The decoration framed in his iconic black and white, high Rococo, shell and C scroll work. The lamp is in completely untouched, original condition, except for rewiring. The lamp shown with a pleated, dark olive, silk shade suggestion.
Portrait of Piero Fornasetti - Circa 1950
Fornasetti lived most of life in Milan, attending the Brera Art Academy from 1930-32 when he was expelled for insubordination. During World War II, he went into exile in Switzerland from 1943-46
A Milan artist, Fornasetti was at the same time a painter, sculptor, designer, craftsman, and an engraver of art books. In his lifetime, he created more than 11,000 objects, decorative schemes, and items of furniture in the course of his unfailingly prolific career, including a large number of unique pieces. He is often described as a visionary.
Drawing on a powerful mix of Italian cultural tradition and surrealist invention, his ideas were expressed on every conceivable support, from glasses and plates to umbrellas, lamps, furniture, and screens. The result is a very unusual and highly poetic body of work.
Fornasetti can be equated with Andy Warhol. Both had long, prolific careers that constantly replenished their output with material that was simultaneously fresh but iconic. He is remarkable in the realms of both art and design in his enthusiastic embrace of antiquity and the ornate, defying not only his generations aesthetic preferences but many trends inherent in Modernism.
Reverse Glass Decoration - The reverse glass decoration of the lamp, also know as Verre Églomisé, from the French term meaning gilded glass, a process in which the reverse side of glass is applied with gold or silver leaf using a gelatin adhesive.
The technique dates back to the pre-Roman era, but was revived in the 18th century by Jean-Baptise Glomy (1711–1786) a French decorator and picture framer who gave his name to the rediscovered technique, Glomy–Églomisé. It was so typical of Fornasetti to revisit this ancient, decorative artistic skill
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