Piero Fornasetti paraventi screen Italy 1954





Rare early paraventi / foldable screen designed by Piero Fornasetti and manufactured by Fornasetti in Italy in 1954. This version consists a ‘Libri’ theme on one side and a ‘Battaglia Navale’ theme on the other. Fornasetti had many artistic interests; graphic design, decorative arts, historical prints, Italian art and architecture, Surrealism. And they all inspired his unique approach to decoration. The folding screen was one of his favourite formats, and here he has covered the screen’s surface with on one side books and objects like a vase, glass, shell, a roman foot, feather and more. The other side has a nautic war scene with the ocean, battleships and land. Fornasetti drew from memory, and it’s clear that he absorbed historical details. Fornasetti loved to allude to them subtly and indirectly in the decoration he applied to them. These screens were made in very limeted editions (approximately 20 per edition). The screen is in very good condition.


Similar models published in the Fornasetti book.


Piero Fornasetti was renowned for his talents in painting, sculpture, decoration, and craftsmanship. His work was characterized by a clever, surreal, and whimsical aesthetic. Fornasetti’s artistic journey began with studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and the Castello Sforzesco school in Milan. During World War II, he further sharpened his skills in Switzerland, and a subsequent trip to Africa profoundly influenced his artistic vision. Upon returning to Milan, Fornasetti gained recognition for his silk scarf paintings, catching the eye of architect Gio Ponti, marking the beginning of a fruitful collaboration. Together, they worked on various projects, including the iconic Architettura series, blending Ponti’s angular designs with Fornasetti’s decorative motifs.


Fornasetti’s work drew inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture, surrealism, and metaphysical art, notably featuring the face of opera singer Lina Cavalieri in his Tema e Variazioni series. His furniture designs, known for their surreal and impactful nature, often served as functional sculptures, particularly his round tables adorned with trompe-l’oeil paintings. Despite initial success, Fornasetti’s popularity waned with the rise of pop culture and conceptual designs in the late 1960s, leading to a decline in commercial viability. However, his son Barnaba Fornasetti took over the family business after Piero’s death in 1988, ensuring the continued legacy of his original designs.

Designer: Piero Fornasetti
Type: Paraventi Libri/Battaglia Navale
Manufacturer: Fornasetti
Year: 1954
Country: Italy
Materials: Painted wood, brass, plastic
Condition: Very good
Height: 135 cm
Width: 143 cm
Depth: 3 cm
Item nr: APF23AP25

Holland / Belgium: € Free
Europe: € 150 - 350
Outside Europe: € 450 - 650

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