Piero Fornasetti’s muse: Lina Cavalieri

piero-fornasetti-ritratto su sterlizie blog Piero Fornasetti's muse

The centenary of Piero Fornasetti’s birth gives me lots of ideas… I could spend the whole day writing on the incredible wide production of this Italian maestro! But – as we use to say – a picture is worth a thousand words, so, feast your eyes whit this gallery from the great milanese exhibition “Piero Fornasetti: 100 years of practical madness “. And keep on reading this post: I am going to tell you the real truth on the face by which Fornasetti was obsessed.

atelier piero fornasetti

Milanese, Fornasetti was a sculptor, painter, interior decorator, book printer and creator of more than thirteen thousand objects: his production is one of the largest of the twentieth century. His aesthetic, driven by an instantly recognizable visual language, is full of color, humor, mystery – almost magic.

“So I dressed ceramics, furniture and things, and so I put a message in each work, a short story sometimes ironic, no words obviously but audible to those who believe in poetry“
Piero Fornasetti

His most striking feature is that of a certain passion / obsession for the study in series of the evolution of specific issues: starting from an idea, Fornasetti was able to rework it dozens of times by inventing and imagining infinite variations.

Piero Fornasetti's muse lina cavalieri
The most recurrent subjects are the sun, the playing cards, the harlequins, the hands, the self-portraits. But the most famous of these collections of images is certainly the first to have had the name “Theme and Variations”, in which 350 pieces pay tribute to the enigmatic face of a woman. A classic and formal beauty, now became an icon.

They say that Piero Fornasetti  found this face browsing an old French magazine of the end of ‘800 and was fascinated by it, making it his muse: that was the portrait of the italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri (1875-1944), admired diva of the Belle Epoque, known for the artistic talent and for the fame of seductress.

lina cavalieri piero fornasetti's muse

You need to know only two facts: Gabriele D’Annunzio gave her a copy of The Pleasure inscribed “The greatest witness of Venus on Earth”, and Lina Cavalieri became known as the most beautiful woman in the world.

To learn more about her life, full of the charm of a melodrama and shrouded in mystery that makes it difficult to distinguish the true stories from the legends, I suggest you just take a look on the web, or if you are a collector, grab a copy of her rare autobiography, “My Truth”.

Curiosity: in 1955 another legendary women, italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, played Lina Cavalieri on the big screen in the movie “Beautiful But Dangerous“.

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

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