Skip to main content

Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Italian, b. 1937

Gaetano Pesce is of a generation of Italian architects who in the early 1960s rebelled against the industrial perfection of modernism by conceiving new furniture and objects that were at once expressive and eccentric in form; or you might say they were more like art than functionalist design.

Born in the picturesque coastal Italian city of La Spezia in 1939, Pesce was a precocious talent who could have forged a career as an artist but opted instead to go to Venice to study architecture because, as he has said, it was “the most complex of all the arts.” Rather than having new worlds opened to him at design school, however, he found the rationalist curriculum oppressive in its insistence on standardization and prescribed materials and technologies.

Pesce wanted to explore the latest of both materials and technologies to create objects and buildings never before imagined, with what he called “personalities” that spoke to the issues of the day. He was keen to examine ways to diversify mass production so that each manufactured work could be distinct. In 1964, he met Cesare Cassina, of the forward-looking furniture company C&B in Milan (now known as B&B), for whom he would create many important designs, beginning with a collection of what he called “transformational furniture” — two chairs and a loveseat — made entirely out of high-density polyurethane foam. To make the pieces easy to ship and cost-efficient, he proposed that after being covered in a stretch jersey, they be put in a vacuum, then heat-sealed flat between vinyl sheets. Once the foam was removed from its packaging, the piece returned to its original shape — hence, the name Up for the series, which debuted in 1969.

In addition to these pieces, Pesce proposed for the collection something he referred to as an “anti-armchair,” which took the shape of a reclining fertility goddess, the iconic Donna. Producing its complex form turned out to be a technical challenge. Bayer, the foam’s manufacturer, deemed it impossible to accomplish. Pesce persisted and came up with a new procedure, demonstrating not only the designer’s key role in researching the nature and potential of new materials but also his vital importance in “doubting rules.” The Up chair and accompanying ottoman were born, and they were revolutionary in more ways than one.

In the early 1970s, Pesce began exploring one of his key concepts, the idea of the industrial originals. Employing a mold without air holes, and adding a blood-red dye to the polyurethane, he cast a bookcase that resembled a demolished wall, the rough edges of the shelves and posts resulting from fissures in the material made by trapped air. Through his research into polyurethane, Pesce figured out a way to make a loveseat and armchair using only a simple wood frame and strong canvas covering as a mold. Since the fabric developed random folds during the injection process, the pieces were similar but not identical. Cassina named the suite of furnishings Sit Down and introduced it in 1975. By experimenting with felt soaked in polyurethane and resin, Pesce conceived I Feltri, another collection of armchairs introduced by Cassina in 1987.

Pesce has gone on to live a life that defies expectation and convention and along the way has become one of the most seminal figures in art and design. 

Find vintage Gaetano Pesce chairs, sofas, vases and more on 1stDibs.

1
5
1
to
1
5
6
5
5
2
1
4
1
4
3
Height
to
Width
to
Depth
to
6
5
1
6
6
462
292
193
141
113
Creator: Gaetano Pesce
Gaetano Pesce Italian Sofa Cannaregio in Grey Fabric Original Condition
By Gaetano Pesce, Cassina
Located in Milano, IT
The Cannaregio sofa created in 1987 by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina is made up of ten different elements that have different shapes and therefore different volumes and sizes. But Gaetan...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

1 of 50 limited edition Tramonto A New York Sofa by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
By Gaetano Pesce, Cassina
Located in Berlin, DE
1 of 50 limited edition Tramonto A New York Sofa by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina For the three-seater sofa, the padded skyscrapers are upholstered in an exclusive fabric with a raised ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

Italian Modern Modular Sofa Cannaregio by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina, 1987
By Cassina, Gaetano Pesce
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian modern Modular sofa Cannaregio by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina, 1987 Sofa mod. Cannaregio composed of three modules that can be positioned as desired, joined or distant. The su...
Category

1990s Italian Post-Modern Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Tramonto a New York Modular Sofa Designed by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina, 1984
By Gaetano Pesce, Cassina
Located in MIlano, IT
Tramonto a New York modular sofa designed by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina, 1984 This is an authentic masterpiece by the unconventional Italian designer Gaetano Pesce, from 1984, produc...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

Large Gaetano Pesce 'Cannaregio' Modular Sofa for Cassina
By Cassina, Gaetano Pesce
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Gaetano Pesce, Cassina, sofa, model ‘Cannaregio’, multicolored upholstery, Italy, 1987 Large ‘Cannaregio’ sofa, designed by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina. The 1987 design is playful, ...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

"Cannaregio” Sofa by Gaetano Pesce, Produced by Cassina, 1987
By Cassina, Gaetano Pesce
Located in Melbourne, VIC
Special Edition sofa “Cannaregio” for Magasin Du Jardin. This piece is in its original leather upholstery and the frame and base is made of timber. Produced by Cassina 1987, Italy.  
Category

Mid-19th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Antique Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Related Items
Italian Damask Fabric Capitonnè Sofa
By Italian school XX ct.
Located in Milano, IT
Gorgeous Italian made sofa from the 1950's. The Italian sofa has been upholstered in a fine capitonné damask fabric in shades of ivory. The soft and rounded seat is very comfortabl...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Brass

  • Italian Damask Fabric Capitonnè Sofa
  • Italian Damask Fabric Capitonnè Sofa
  • Italian Damask Fabric Capitonnè Sofa
  • Italian Damask Fabric Capitonnè Sofa
H 37.01 in. W 51.19 in. D 24.02 in.
Vittorio Introini Italian Sofa in Brown Velvet and Steel
By Vittorio Introini
Located in Milano, IT
Three seater sofa designed by Vittorio Introini in the 70s. The sofa is made of brown velvet with clean and linear geometric shapes. The sofa has a peculiarity, at the center of the ...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Steel

Ettore Sottsass for Cassina Postmodern Sofa Model Danube in Red Fabric
By Ettore Sottsass, Cassina
Located in Milano, IT
Two-seater sofa Danube model for Cassina of 1992. Structure in black tubular iron powder coated, plywood panels. The fabric of the seat is original of the time covered in red fabric ...
Category

1990s Italian Post-Modern Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Iron

Vico Magistretti for Cassina "Maralunga" Sofa in Blue Fabric
By Cassina, Vico Magistretti
Located in Milano, IT
Sofa designed by Vico Magistretti for the Cassina factory in the 1970s. The two-seater sofa is entirely upholstered in original fabric of the time in perfect condition, no rips or da...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Cotton, Plastic

Italian Vintage Sofa Bed in Grey Velvet
Located in Milano, IT
The vintage sofa bed is from the 50s and of fine Italian manufacture. The two-seater is elegant with its mix of rigid lines, soft curves and delicate light gray velvet. The structur...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Brass

  • Italian Vintage Sofa Bed in Grey Velvet
  • Italian Vintage Sofa Bed in Grey Velvet
  • Italian Vintage Sofa Bed in Grey Velvet
  • Italian Vintage Sofa Bed in Grey Velvet
H 31.11 in. W 64.57 in. D 30.71 in.
Italian Modular Sofa Space Age in Zebra Fabric with Bar
By Space Age Products
Located in Milano, IT
Italian Space Age sofa from the 1970s. The sofa is in its original condition even the fabric is original of the time. The sofa is modular and is ideal as a corner sofa. The peculiari...
Category

1970s Italian Space Age Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Rare Sofa in Fabric in the Style of Milo Baughman
By Milo Baughman
Located in Milano, IT
Rare sofa in the style of Milo Baughman in original fabric designed by Jake Lenor Larsen in the 1960s. The fabric is in good and original vintage condition, the vintage sofa is a thr...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

  • Rare Sofa in Fabric in the Style of Milo Baughman
  • Rare Sofa in Fabric in the Style of Milo Baughman
  • Rare Sofa in Fabric in the Style of Milo Baughman
  • Rare Sofa in Fabric in the Style of Milo Baughman
H 32.68 in. W 90.56 in. D 33.86 in.
Sofa Djinn Model by Olivier Mourgue in Yellow Fabric
By Olivier Mourgue
Located in Milano, IT
Vintage Djinn two-seater sofa designed by Olivier Mourgue in 1965 for Airborne. Metal frame lined with foam and covered in yellow Kvadrat publisher's fabric. The feet have steel Skat...
Category

1960s European Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Aluminum, Iron

Afra & Tobia Scarpa Modern Sofa in Walnut and Fabric 1980s
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa
Located in Milano, IT
Large three-seat sofa by Afra and Tobia shoe from 1980. The sofa is in its original condition in perfect condition, presents its original fabric in red color. The sofa is made of wal...
Category

1980s Italian Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Lella and Massimo Vignelli Sofa in Fabric and Black Marble
By Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Milano, IT
Eclectic fabric sofa with side table in black marble designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli in the 70's, of fine Italian manufacture. The sofa is composed of three seats, the last o...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Marble, Metal

Rare Italian Red Sofa by Ico Parisi for Cassina Mod. 875, Published
By Cassina, Ico Parisi
Located in Milano, IT
Rare four-seater sofa by Ico Parisi for Cassina model 875 of the 60s. The structure is metal, and the cover is red cotton fabric. The sofa through the clean lines and defined very ri...
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Steel

Vintage Sofa Bed in Wood and Speckled Fabric Att. to Paolo Buffa
By Paolo Buffa
Located in Milano, IT
Fabulous wood and fabric sofa attributed to the great designer Paolo Buffa, of fine Italian manufacture, produced in the 1950s. The sofa is totally in original condition. The struc...
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Previously Available Items
Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
By Gaetano Pesce
Located in Carpaneto Piacentino, Italy
The sofa consists of six different elements that have different shapes and therefore different volumes and sizes. These elements can be arranged individually, side by side or all tog...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Cotton, Wood

  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
H 39.38 in. W 31.5 in. D 35.44 in.
Italian Mid-Century Modern Multicolored Sofa Cannaregio by G.Pesce, Cassina 1987
By Cassina, Gaetano Pesce
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian Mid-Century Modern multicolored sofa Cannaregio by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina, 1987 Cannaregio model sofa composed of two modules that can be positioned at will, joined or di...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

Gaetano Pesce Sofa "La Michetta" for Meritalia, Italy, 2005
By Gaetano Pesce, Meritalia
Located in Greding, DE
Sofa designed by Gaetano Pesce (*1939) for Meritalia, designed in 2005. This sofa consists of five modules in pink and purple. The shape of "La Michetta" is reminiscent of the Milane...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Modern Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

UP 1 Armchairs, 1970s, Gaetano Pesce
By Gaetano Pesce
Located in Roma, IT
A pair of "UP1" armchairs manufactured by C&BITALIA. Elastic fabric upholstered polyurethane, stamped under the base "11 giugno 1971". Bibliography: Casa Amica 11-11-1969, p. 22;...
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Gaetano Pesce sofas for sale on 1stDibs

Gaetano Pesce sofas are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are often made of fabric and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our collection of Gaetano Pesce sofas to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 6 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many original sofas by Gaetano Pesce were created in Italy during the 1980s in the mid-century modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider sofas by Paolo Lomazzi, Ico & Luisa Parisi and Giancarlo Piretti. Prices for Gaetano Pesce sofas can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $5,203 and tops out at $35,727 on 1stDibs, while pieces like these can sell for $17,885.

Recent Sales

Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
By Gaetano Pesce
Located in Carpaneto Piacentino, Italy
The sofa consists of six different elements that have different shapes and therefore different volumes and sizes. These elements can be arranged individually, side by side or all tog...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Cotton, Wood

  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
  • Cannareggio Sofa Set by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina
H 39.38 in. W 31.5 in. D 35.44 in.
Italian Mid-Century Modern Multicolored Sofa Cannaregio by G.Pesce, Cassina 1987
By Cassina, Gaetano Pesce
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian Mid-Century Modern multicolored sofa Cannaregio by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina, 1987 Cannaregio model sofa composed of two modules that can be positioned at will, joined or di...
Category

1980s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

Gaetano Pesce Sofa "La Michetta" for Meritalia, Italy, 2005
By Gaetano Pesce, Meritalia
Located in Greding, DE
Sofa designed by Gaetano Pesce (*1939) for Meritalia, designed in 2005. This sofa consists of five modules in pink and purple. The shape of "La Michetta" is reminiscent of the Milane...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Modern Gaetano Pesce Sofas

Materials

Fabric

UP 1 Armchairs, 1970s, Gaetano Pesce
By Gaetano Pesce
Located in Roma, IT
A pair of "UP1" armchairs manufactured by C&BITALIA. Elastic fabric upholstered polyurethane, stamped under the base "11 giugno 1971". Bibliography: Casa Amica 11-11-1969, p. 22;...
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Gaetano Pesce Sofas

You May Also Like

Porto Venere Sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina, 1970s
By Cassina, Vico Magistretti
Located in Ottenburg, BE
Grey/blue striped original fabric wingback two seater sofa designed by Vico Magsitretti for Cassina. Very comfortable sofa thanks to the large backrests and adjustable side headre...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric

'Veranda' 3-Seater Fabric Sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina
By Cassina, Vico Magistretti
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This remarkable 'Veranda' three-seater sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina is quite a unique piece. The two side seats swivel on the fixed base to form a more intimate configuration...
Category

20th Century Italian Modern Sofas

Materials

Steel

Shadow Armchair by Gaetano Pesce for Meritalia, Postmodern Icon
By Meritalia, Ligne Roset, Gaetano Pesce, Michel Ducaroy
Located in Grand Cayman, KY
Shadow armchair by Gaetano Pesce for Meritalia is a highly collectible iconic masterpiece of Post Modern Design. The chair "deconstructed". Designed and made in limited numbers in...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Post-Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Upholstery, Latex, Resin

Mario Bellini for Cassina Modular Sofa 'Quartet' in Leather
By Cassina, Mario Bellini
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Mario Bellini for Cassina, 'Quartet' sofa model 932, leather, metal, Italy, 1964 Mario Bellini designed this modular sofa for Cassina. The sofa is a reinterpretation of classic fu...
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sectional Sofas

Materials

Metal

Two-Seat Maralunga Leather Sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina
By Vico Magistretti, Cassina
Located in Voorburg, NL
A wonderful Maralunga sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina. This beauty was designed in 1973 and quickly became a design Classic. Its clever design incorporates manipulatable back cu...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Leather

Etro Home Interiors Agra 3-Seater Sofa in Fabric
By Etro
Located in Cantù, Lombardia
Classic charm meets oriental and spiritual suggestions in a refined and elegant sofa. The references to the Asiatic, mystical culture are declined in the use of gold and light tone s...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Armchair "la mama" by Gaetano Pesce for B&b Italia
By Gaetano Pesce
Located in PARIS, FR
In the early 1960s, the chemist Bayer developed a polyurethane foam with a new resin, allowing the creation of various and simple shapes. In the middle of the decade, the Italian des...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Fabric

Charlotte Perriand Refolo Modular Sofa, Wood and Black Leather by Cassina
By Cassina, Charlotte Perriand
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Modular system that can be use as a sofa, bench or other options designed by Charlotte Perriand in 1953. Relaunched by Cassina in 2004. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. A modul...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Living Room Sets

Materials

Wood, Fabric

1970s 2-Seater Maralunga Sofas by Vico Magistretti for Cassina
By Cassina, Vico Magistretti
Located in Grand Cayman, KY
Iconic Mid-Century Modern pair of Italian "Maralunga" two-seater sofas / armchairs by Vico Magistretti for Cassina. This pair features their original knitted wool upholstery in iv...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Wool

Patricia Urquiola ''Trampoline' Outdoor Sofa by Cassina
By Cassina, Patricia Urquiola
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Outdoor sofa designed by Patricia Urquiola in 2020. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. Patricia Urquiola interprets the happiness of outdoor life with a high-impact product inspire...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Steel

'Soriana' Sofa, Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Cassina
Located in Milano, IT
Soriana two seater sofa, designed in 1969 by Afra and Tobia Scarpa and produced by Cassina. Foam padding and velvet upholstery.
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Velvet, Foam

Cassina Soriana Four Seater Sofa by Afra and Tobia Scarpa in green Peter Dunham
By Afra & Tobia Scarpa, Cassina
Located in Antwerp, BE
Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Soriana, Cassina, Italy 1970s, reupholstered in Peter Dunham Manufactured by Cassina in the 1970s, the Soriana collection was meant to express beauty and ...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Post-Modern Sofas

Materials

Chrome

Italian Midcentury Tufted Sofa by Ico Parisi in Grey Flannel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Impeccably restored Italian midcentury tufted sofa by Ico Parisi in new Grey Flannel. Matching pair of chairs available.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Sofas

Materials

Wool

French Sofa Settee in Light Green Fabric
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Settee, fabric and wood, France, 1950s This elegant sofa is bold and round. The backrest flows slightly outwards when seen from the seat which is the reason that this chair has a ...
Category

Vintage 1950s French Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Oak

Shadow Armchair, Gaetano Pesce for Meritalia
By Gaetano Pesce
Located in Las Vegas, NV
Exceptionally rare Gaetano Pesce Shadow chair for Meritalia. Due to the manufacturing process created by Pesce every Shadow chair is unique in its particular shape. Good condition wi...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Post-Modern Armchairs

Materials

Fabric, Resin

Mid-Century Modern Modular Fiandra Sofa by Vico Magistretti, Cassina, Italy,1970
By Vico Magistretti
Located in Brussels, BE
Mid-Century Modern Modular Fiandra Sofa by Vico Magistretti, Cassina, Italy,1970s.
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric

Recommended For You

Recently Viewed

View More