• Piero Fornasetti was an Italian engraver, interior decorator, and artist. Born on November 10, 1913 in Milan, Italy, he attended and was later expelled from the city’s Brera Art Academy.

    He was later expelled again—this time from Italy altogether—during World War II, and went on to develop as an artist in Switzerland. Fornasetti is known for using a swath of fanciful motifs such as the sun, moon, playing cards, animals, and other Surrealist imagery. He is best known for the recurring face of opera singer Lina Cavalieri, using her image across numerous works, including a series of 350 individual plates. Most of the artist’s pieces are executed in black and white—the total number of his designed objects are in the tens of thousands. Fornasetti’s other notable talent was for interior design, creating whimsical items such as umbrella stands and dressers, as well as full rooms such as the Casino Remo’s famous “Zodiac Suite,” where the walls are intricately decorated with all the creatures of the zodiac. In 1959, Fornasetti received a Neiman Marcus Award for “distinguished service in the field of fashion.'” He died on October 9, 1988 in Milan, Italy.

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