A long, leather-backed mid-century bowl with a brightly colored abstract mounted warrior motif from the studio of Marcello Fantoni.  The leather shows the signs of use to be expected for its age.  The ceramic is in great condition; no chips, cracks, or flaking.

MARCELLO FANTONI was born in Florence in 1915 and began his study of ceramic art at age 12 at the Art Institute of Florence with ceramicist Carlo Guerrini, the then artistic director of the famed CANTAGALLI Factory.  He continued years of training in ceramics and other arts, including sculpture with Libero Andreotti and Bruno Innocenti and figurative art with Gianni Vagnetti, finally graduating as a Maestro in 1934.  Following a stint as art director for a ceramics factory in Perugia, he opened the FANTONI CERAMIC STUDIO in Florence in 1936.  Here he produced ceramic series and unique pieces as well as sculptures and furnishings.  In 1937 his work was exhibited in the Florence National Arts and Crafts Exhibit where their unique combination of rustic forms decorated with African and marine motifs and painted figures garnered considerable acclaim.  By the start of World War II, Fantoni’s melding of ancient Italian pottery techniques with decidedly Modernist elements had won him artistic and commercial success both in Italy and abroad.

After the War (during which he participated in the resistance) Fantoni worked for the 500-year old Maiolica factory in Deruta, Umbria, renowned for its signature tin-glazed pottery.  In the 1950's he refocused on his Florence studio, dedicating himself to larger sculptural pieces and working on many collaborations.  He also expanded experimentation with materials and forms, drawing from varied influences—Primitivism, Novecento style, Cubism, and Abstract Expressionism.  Fantoni gave special emphasis to ancient Etruscan ceramic techniques, glazes, and colors, which heightened the timelessness of his pieces.  In addition to clay, he frequently worked in metals to great effect.  Every Fantoni piece was ultimately rendered unique by his hand-painting of it.  His painting style remains one of the most identifiable qualities of his creations.

In 1970 Fantoni founded the International School of Ceramic Art, dedicated to teaching ceramic arts and experimentation.  (Many of his students and employees have gone on to become noteworthy artisans and artists in their own right.)  Fantoni maintained great versatility throughout his career and completed projects for public and private buildings.  When he died in Florence in 2011 at the age of 95, his obituary in the Italian newspaper La Nazione hailed him “The master of beauty.”  Fantoni’s ceramics embody a dichotomy where the appeal of ancient or traditional Italian pottery was combined with archly Modernist and progressive movements.

The following museums hold works by Fantoni:  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.

If done with passion, it becomes fashion. – MARCELLO FANTONI

Production Period – 1960-1969

Country of Origin – ITALY

Designer – MARCELLO FANTONI (1915-2011)


Condition – VERY GOOD (no defects; may show slight traces of use)

Height (cm) – 5.0

Width (cm) – 33.5

Depth (cm) – 11.5

Quantity Available – 0