Artist, designer, interior decorator, sculptor, engraver… Fornasetti, born in 1913, spent most of artistic life in Milan creating and designing his pieces. He studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and at the Castello Sforzesco school in Milan. No material was off limits, Fornasetti was known to work with glass, textiles, wood and porcelain. His most renowned creations ranged from lithographs on furniture, inspired heavily by Greek and Roman architecture, such as the Paladiana (1950) to playful designs on household objects (trays, coasters, stands etc.).

Fornasetti composed large scale pieces as well. His series Tema e Variazioni – a playful re-imagining of the opera singer Lina Cavalieri’s face on a vast collection of ceramic plates – cemented Fornasetti’s reputation as a skilled and prolific craftsman. His longstanding collaboration with architect Gio Ponti not only inspired his designs to flourish but also culminated interior design projects, of which the staterooms on board the steamship Andrea Doria. Although his artistic talents were certainly well established, Fornasetti never conceived of his pieces as ‘art’ but rather ‘manufactured pieces’ highlighting his affinity for craftsmanship. Fornasetti died in his native Milan on October 9th 1988.