Wallpaper: Cole & Son Collection - Fornasetti I - fine drawings in the archive of Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988)
The Fornasetti collection consists of 14 designs selected from fine drawings in the archive of Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988). These wallpapers incorporate elements from the Fornasetti archives used to make stunning large scale designs in a palette of useable colours ranging from reds and golds, to neutrals and blacks.
Delicately coloured floral Ortensia wallpaper design is shadowed by simpler sketch versions in the background. Originally a 1950s design for a table and trays, colours include dark purple ground with bronze and wine; white, grey and silver; turquoise, grey and silver or neutral, gold and pink.
The now iconic Ex Libris wallpaper design features a detail taken from a 1953 screen, speaks volumes with a faux library of books bound in pigskin and buff on black shelves; pale sepia on silver books with dark stone shelves; parchment on black and white books with pale taupe shelves and for lovers of purple prose, magenta and gold books on black shelves.
Echoes of the famous Fornasetti wit are evident in the Frutto Proibito wallpaper design, a blend of two designs from the archive. Mischievous monkeys originally designed for ‘Dulciora’, a Milanese patisserie in the 1950s, hide in a riotous pomegranate tree pattern from a 1940s fabric. Available in fantastical colourways of fuschia and green on deep black, grey and plum on gold and beige and gold on sky blue.
A large scale leaf print wallpaper, Ramo is an oversized branch of shadowy skeletal leaves 76 cm high. The design adorned a tray in the 1950s and is now resplendent in gold and black on a wine red ground; silver and mauve on eau de nil; white and charcoal on dull gold or white and taupe on corn.
Fornasetti’s flat flower faces of Pansee, taken from a 1950s tray, are proud and elegant on this bold floral print wallpaper. Offered in colourways of pale grey, gunmetal and dark copper; neutral, copper and silver; black, silver and bronze or deep muted scarlet, copper and gold.
Bubbly bouquets of Peonies, originally adorning a 1940s Fornasetti silk scarf, are resplendent in silver lustre ground and pinks; copper, burgundy and lime; red, magenta and orange on neutral or metallics on neutral, on this bold large scale floral wallpaper design.
Branches of feathery coral are suspended in Corallo as though floating in a coloured sea. Set free from its original tray and umbrella stand, this wallpaper design is offered in colourways of charcoal, black, pink, purple and silver; off white, black, red and gold; muted neutrals or charcoal with copper, silver, gold and black.
Designed in the late 1940s for the entrance hall of Piero Fornasetti’s own house in Milan, The Mediterranea wallpaper delivers a hypnotic cityscape of roofs, gilded domes and gardens with a repeating pattern that stimulates the optical effect. In a daytime version with buildings defined in black and gold on white or nocturnal in black and humid ginger with gold domes.
Fornasetti’s love of exuberant flowers is typified in Fiori taken from a 1953 design, ‘Fiori nella Notte’ on a chest of drawers. A criss-cross of garlands attended by the artist’s cherished butterflies, the wallpaper is offered in multicolours on jet black ground; black and white flowers on charcoal lustre; metallics on stone or vivid flowers on blue sky.
The hypnotic ripples of the semi-precious stone Malachite depicted by Fornasetti on furniture and even a limited edition of bicycles are now surely as precious on wallpaper! Colour-ways include an authentic emerald green ground with black; black and white; black and copper; pale taupe and silver or stone and black.
A detail taken from the Fornasetti motif ‘Grand Coromandel’ inspired by chinoiseries, celebrates spring with insects cross-pollinating voluptuous flowers. This hand drawn floral wallpaper is offered in in hues of lime and silver; azure and gold; black and tinted silver or taupe and copper bronze.
The classically designed sun is a favourite Fornasetti device and this version was used on a series of 1950s plates. This emblem of the Mediterranean area is given a benign face set in a halo of rays in this Il Sole wallpaper design Suns in black, silver and gold are displayed on backgrounds of copper, scarlet, taupe or black.