Le Arti d’Oggi: Architettura e Arti Decorative in Europa.

Milan and Rome, Bestetti and Tumminelli, 1930.

4to, pp. 22, [2], [10], with 435 pp. of plates with a total of 808 photographic illustrations, of which 8 printed in colour; an exceptionally well-preserved copy, bound in the original pictorial cloth illustrated by G. Rosso.


US $389€356

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First edition of a thorough and extensively illustrated survey of architectural and artistic styles and artworks from across Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century, compiled by the Italian art historian Roberto Papini (1883–1957), director of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan and later of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome.

Papini begins by introducing the idea of a utopian town, ‘Universa’, where the futuristic ideal for a new society can be achieved and craftsmanship and architecture can flourish, through the combination of technology with art and the fusion of modernism and tradition.

The introduction is followed by an extensive photographic record illustrating various fields of art, from architecture and landscape design, to interiors and furniture, decorative metalwork (including lamps, tea sets, vases and jewels), ceramics (including crockery and statues), glassware, laces, fabrics (including dolls and rugs), printed paper and leatherwork – this last section being dedicated almost exclusively to artistic bindings.

Each illustration is captioned with the name of the architect or artist, his nationality, a description of the artwork and a brief critical remark by Papini. Amongst the various artists and architects whose works are illustrated and examined in Le Arti d’Oggi are Le Corbusier, Gio Ponti, Edgar Brandt, Josef Hoffmann, Emilie-Jacques Ruhlmann, Brenno del Giudice, Kay Fisker, Fortunato Depero and René Lalique, as well as major firms such as Baccarat, Cartier, Royal Copenhagen, Venini and the Wiener Werkstätte.

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