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Marcello Fantoni

Marcello Fantoni (1915-2011) was born in Florence, Italy. He was a sculptor, ceramicist, metalworker, multi-media artist and designer. Marcello Fantoni began studying ceramic art at age 12, he continued years of training in ceramics and the arts graduating as a maestro of art in 1934.

In 1936 he opened the Fantoni Ceramic Studio in Florence. There he produced ceramic series as well as unique pieces, sculptures and furnishings. 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 and working on many collaborations. 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 and Braque. Along with figurative and abstract works, the 60s also saw Fantoni creating brutalist piece.

In 1970 Fantoni founded the International School of Ceramic Art, dedicated to teaching ceramic arts and experimentation. Maintaining great versatility throughout his career, Fantoni completed projects for public and private buildings, churches, schools, theaters, cinemas, and ships. His works, meanwhile, were collected by important museums worldwide.