Large 'Brutalist' table light by Marcello Fantoni, Firenze Italy 1955.
Sculpture table lamp designed by Marcello Fantoni, Florence Italy (stamped on underside base) circa 1955. Wrought from an array of torch cut and welded iron. The base is a multi tone enamel paint finish with ranging from a greenish base with warm gold highlights. Great overall condition, usual signs of age and use.
The electricity is used but in a good condition, approved to European standards and as with all vintage electrical you must have it tested before use. One bulb (E27 26-27 mm (medium) Edison screw (ES). Max. 70 Watt. The bulb holder has been replaced, but the rest is original.
Dimensions base (without shade): height inc. bulb holder 33.5 in. (85 cm), width 15.4 in. (39 cm), depth 6.3 inches (16 cm).
Listing is for the lamp base only, shade not included.
Marcello Fantoni (1915-2011), born in Florence. Fantoni began studying ceramic art at age 12 at the Art Institute of Florence. He continued years of training in ceramics and the arts, including sculpture and figurative art, graduating as a maestro of art in 1934. After a stint as art director for a ceramics factory in Perugia, in 1936 he opened the Fantoni Ceramic Studio in Florence. In 1937 Fantoni’s pieces were exhibited in the Florence National Arts and Crafts Exhibit. Fantoni’s melding of ancient Italian pottery techniques with decidedly Modernist elements had won him artistic and commercial success both in Italy and abroad.
Having participated in the resistance, after the War Fantoni worked for the 500-year old Maiolica factory in Deruta, Umbria, renowned for its signature tin-glazed pottery. In the 1950s he refocused on his Florence studio, dedicating himself to larger sculptural pieces.
Fantoni gave special emphasis to ancient Etruscan ceramic techniques, glazes and colors, heightening the timeless appeal of his pieces. Whether created as a series or as a unique piece, every Fantoni piece was ultimately rendered unique by his hand-painting it.
Through the 50s and 60s he made many cubist-inspired vases and ewers painted in colors bordered by sgraffito lines scratched through the paint in a manner evoking Picasso. Along with figurative and abstract works, the 60s also saw Fantoni creating brutalist pieces with edgy, angular shapes, while in later life, his work took a minimalist turn.
In 1970 Fantoni founded the International School of Ceramic Art, dedicated to teaching ceramic arts and experimentation. His works, meanwhile, were collected by important museums worldwide.
When Marcello Fantoni died in Florence in 2011 at the age of 95, his obituary in the Italian newspaper La Nazione hailed him “The master of beauty.”
Museums and Exhibitions
MoMA New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Fine Art of Boston, Victoria and Albert Museum of London, Royal Scottish Museum of Edinburg, Museums of Modern Art of Tokyo and Kyoto, International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, National Bargello Museum and Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe of the Uffizi in Florence.
- Marcello Fantoni: Ceramista in Firenze Dal 1929 by Antonio Paolucci, Edizioni della Bezuga, 1999
- Marcello Fantoni, Ceramica come Arte, Published by Octavo, 2000
Brutalist Table Light by Marcello Fantoni Italy
Great overall condition, usual signs of age and use. The bulb holder has been replaced, but the rest is original. The electricity is used but in a good condition, approved to European standards and as with all vintage electrical you must have it tested before use.