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Fontana Arte

Best known for its elegant and innovative vintage lighting fixtures, the Milan-based firm Fontana Arte pioneered one of the key features of 20th-century and contemporary Italian design: the union of artistry and industry wrought by partnerships between creative talents — chiefly architects — and entrepreneurial businesses. Fontana Arte is further distinguished by having had as artistic director, in succession, four of Italy’s most inventive modernist designers: Gio Ponti, Pietro Chiesa, French transplant Max Ingrand and Gae Aulenti.

The bread and butter of the glassmaking company that Luigi Fontana founded in 1881 was plate-glass panels for the construction industry. In 1930, Fontana met Ponti — then the artistic director of the Richard Ginori ceramics workshop and the editor of the influential magazine Domus — at a biannual design exhibition that became the precursor to today’s Milan Design Triennale, and the two hatched an idea for a furniture and housewares firm. Fontana Arte was incorporated in 1932 with Ponti as its chief of design. He contributed several lamps that remain among the company’s signature works, including the orb-atop-cone Bilia table lamp and the 0024 pendant — a stratified hanging sphere.

The following year, Fontana Arte partnered with the influential Milan studio glassmaker and retailer Pietro Chiesa, who took over as artistic director. Chiesa’s designs for lighting — as well as for tables and items including vases and ashtrays — express an appreciation for fluidity and simplicity of line, as seen in works such as his flute-shaped Luminator floor lamp and the 1932 Fontana table — an arched sheet of glass that is held in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Six years after Chiesa’s 1948 death, the École des Beaux Arts–trained Max Ingrand took over as head of design at Fontana Arte. Ingrand brought a similarly expressive formal sensibility to wares such as lamps and mirrors, but he also had a masterful eye for the manipulation of glass surfaces — whether they be cut, frosted, acid-etched or sand-blasted. His classic design is the Fontana table lamp of 1954, which has a truncated cone shade and curved body, both of which are made of pure, chic white-frosted glass.

Following Ingrand, the often-audacious Italian architect Gae Aulenti served as the company’s artistic director from 1979 to 1996, and while she generally insisted that furnishings take second place aesthetically to architecture, she made an exception for Fontana Arte pieces such as the Tavolo con Ruote series of glass coffee and dining tables on wheels, bold lighting pieces such as the Parola series and the Giova, a combination flower vase and table lamp. As a key incubator of modern design under Aulenti’s tenure, Fontana Arte remained true to its long-held commitment — creating objects that have never been less than daring.

Find vintage Fontana Arte lighting fixtures such as pendants, table lamps and more on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$5,029
Styles
Materials
Fontana Arte ‘Diaframma’ Wall Sconces, Italy 1960s, Set of Two
By Fontana Arte, Gianemilio Piero and Anna Monti
Located in Rotterdam, NL
Set of two wall sconces by Gianemilio Piero and Anna Monti for Fontana Arte, Italy 1960s. Beautifully constructed out of chromed brass and frosted glass. The name 'Diaframma' refers ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

1980's Mid-Century Modern Tavolo Con Ruote by Gae Aulenti for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Gae Aulenti
Located in Nijlen, VAN
Very elegant coffee table by 1 of most famous and iconic Italian designers Gae Aulenti. Gae Aulenti designed this table for Fontana Arte in the 80s. The design behind this piece of i...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

Suspension Light by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Suspension light by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte. Designed and manufactured in Italy, circa 1960. Glass diffusers, brushed satin glass internal cylinders, brass armature and hardware...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

1960s Curved Glass Pendant by Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte
Located in Amsterdam, NH
Four large glass tinted curved panels with one E27 lightbulb. With gild colored finish. In one of the corners there is a minor chip in the glass, only to be seen if you look for it.   
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

  • 1960s Curved Glass Pendant by Fontana Arte
  • 1960s Curved Glass Pendant by Fontana Arte
  • 1960s Curved Glass Pendant by Fontana Arte
  • 1960s Curved Glass Pendant by Fontana Arte
H 29.53 in. W 20.08 in. D 20.08 in.
Pair of Sconces by Max Ingrand, Fontana Arte, Italy, circa 1955
By Fontana Arte
Located in New York, NY
Thick, acid-etched Saint Gobain glass discs with rough-hewn edges and inset bronze rings; chiseled on the inner border and held with three bronze brackets fabricated by us for the US...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

1950s Mid-Century Modern Green Nilo Glass Picture Frame by Fontana Arte
By Max Ingrand, Fontana Arte
Located in Aci Castello, IT
A stylish heavy verde Nilo glass and brass picture frame made in Italy in the Fifties by Fontana Arte, it's in perfect conditions.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

Max Ingrand Table Lamp Mod. 2488 for Fontana Arte, Italy, 1970s
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Milan, IT
Monumental and rare Max Ingrand table lamp mod. 2488 for Fontana Arte, Italy, 1970s Reference: Fontana Arte Catalogue, 1970.
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Max Ingrand Pendant
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in New York, NY
Rare pendant #2127 by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte. Crystal-cut glass, colored beveled glass, acid-etched glass, nickeled brass. 8 candelabra sockets & clear, rose, blue and green o...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

  • Max Ingrand Pendant
  • Max Ingrand Pendant
  • Max Ingrand Pendant
  • Max Ingrand Pendant
H 32 in. Dm 32 in.
Browse all Furniture from Fontana Arte
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Fontana Arte Sellers

Fontana Arte furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Fontana Arte furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of glass and are designed with extraordinary care. In our Fontana Arte collection, there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 680 vintage editions of these items, while there are 150 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Fontana Arte were created in Europe during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture from Mazzega Murano, Gaetano Sciolari and Barovier & Toso. The prices for Fontana Arte furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $300 and tops out at $160,000, while pieces like these can sell for $4,038 on average.

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