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Fontana Arte

Best known for its elegant and innovative vintage lighting pieces, 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: Giò 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.

Average Sold Price
$5,169
Styles
Materials
Pietro Chiesa for Fontana Arte Italian Mid-Century Large Disc Chandelier, 1940s
By Fontana Arte, Pietro Chiesa
Located in Traversetolo, IT
Stylish Italian Mid-Century Modern large disc chandelier or pendant lamp by Petro Chiesa for Fontana Arte manufacturer, 1940s. This piece is made of polished brass, frosted and chise...
Category

1940s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

Large Fontana Arte Peach Colored Glass Umbrella Stand , 1960s
By Fontana Arte
Located in New York, NY
Fontana Arte. Large handsome umbrella stand by Fontana Arte Two beveled, peach-colored glass panels floating in a rectangular polished brass frame, Italy, circa 1960. Dimensions: 17 ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

GamFratesi 'Cheshire' Floor Lamp in Black for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, GamFratesi Design Studio
Located in Glendale, CA
GamFratesi 'Cheshire' floor Lamp in black for Fontana Arte. Designed by Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi, the ultra refined Cheshire echoes GamFratesi's Nordic imprint in its simplicity ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Fontana Arte

Materials

Metal

Three "Luminator" Floor Lamps by Pietro Chiesa for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Pietro Chiesa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Three luminator floor lamps by Pietro Chiesa for Fontana Arte. Designed and manufactured in Italy, circa 1930's. Painted aluminum, original European cord. Lightbulbs not included. Su...
Category

1930s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Aluminum

Suspension Lamp "Lampara" Produced by Candle, Fontana Arte, 1965
By Candle, Fontana Arte
Located in taranto, IT
"lampara" model suspension lamp, produced by fontana arte Candle division in 1965 it measures approximately 40 cm in height, 100 cm in total with the power cable - orange / red co...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Metal

Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte, Pair of Table Lamps Model 2228, circa 1956
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Merida, Yucatan
Pair of table lamps by Max Ingrand Model 2228 , Fontana Arte production, 1956, nickel plated metal and satin crystal revolving screen with multi-faceted crystal base Bibliography: "...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Art Glass

Gio Ponti Glass Floor Lamp Pirellone from Fontana Arte, 1960s
By Fontana Arte, Gio Ponti
Located in Tuscany, IT
Gio Ponti glass floor lamp Pirellone from Fontana Arte, 1960 Excellent condition. The icon Lamp Gio Ponti an architect, furniture and Industrial design and editor, was arguably the ...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Aluminum

Flex Wall Lamp by Karim Rashid for Fontana Arte
By Karim Rashid, Fontana Arte
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Flex is a wall lamp with an icon minimal shape. Designed to comply with electrical standards for wall lights, this aeronautically inspired Luminaire in die cast aluminum manages to...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Fontana Arte

Materials

Aluminum

  • Flex Wall Lamp by Karim Rashid for Fontana Arte
  • Flex Wall Lamp by Karim Rashid for Fontana Arte
  • Flex Wall Lamp by Karim Rashid for Fontana Arte
  • Flex Wall Lamp by Karim Rashid for Fontana Arte
H 14.18 in. W 6.7 in. D 3.94 in.
Browse all Furniture from Fontana Arte
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Fontana Arte Sellers

Naviglio in snc
4.5 / 5
Two Enlighten Los Angeles
5 / 5
Donzella Ltd.
5 / 5
Gaspare Asaro - Italian Modern
5 / 5
Societa Antiquaria
5 / 5

Creators Similar to Fontana Arte

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. There are many options in our Fontana Arte Furniture collection, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 669 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 modern style of the mid-century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider Furniture by Mazzega Murano, Gaetano Sciolari and Barovier & Toso. Fontana Arte Furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $300 and tops out at $160,000, while pieces like these can sell for $4,113 on average.