Q: What have been some of the influences on top Italian furniture designers in the world?
Going back to the late 15th century, the Renaissance period brought major influences from around the world, including Japanese furniture designers. Ancient Roman and Greek art designs began to show up in furniture designers’ work. Yet, the Renaissance soon made way for more contemporary furniture designs influenced by local culture.
Shortly after the Renaissance, the Catholic Church’s influence grew so much that furniture designers brought a new look to modern furniture design revolved around the influence of the Church. The Catholic Church led a revitalization and redesign of Rome that spread a Baroque influence throughout Italy followed by Europe in the 17th century.
As new forms of woodworking flourished in Rome, cabinets, bookshelves and other modern furniture designs were embellished with Baroque accents. Famous Italian furniture designers created gilded frames, Italian chests, Florentine consoles and cabinets as well as lion commodes all with creative and extensive carvings to create a majestic and royal design.
While these were large, dominating pieces, the Baroque period turned to what is known as the Empire and Neo classicism style where shapes and forms began to dominate the work of famous furniture designers.
Contemporary furniture designers were skilled in their design technique that had been passed down. In the 19th Century, Italian furniture designers returned to their Renaissance roots with Gothic influences. Oriental, in particular, Japanese furniture designers began to influence Italian design.
Italy is known worldwide as a premier hub for fashion, design and creativity.
Gio Ponti is one of the most famous Italian furniture designers of the modern world. While he was primarily an architect, Ponti brought great influence to modern furniture designers. Ponti was best known for his chairs, in particular the Distex armchair, his “Due Foglie” sofa, glass bottles and unique lamps as well as ceramic accessories and a line of home furniture. His Superleggera (SuperLight) chair was also another well-known design created by this furniture designer.
Ponti, however, is only one of many Italian furniture designers that have influenced modern furniture designers. A strong focus on detail, quality and design bring strength to Italian furniture. Italian furniture, with its Baroque accents, is still popular with Classic, Tuscan, Renaissance and modern contemporary furniture designers the most popular today.