La Conversazione Classica: La Musica Oval Bowl by Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori
Classical designs from early Richard Ginori production continues in Giò Ponti's creations: L'Amore dell'Antichità (The Love of Antiquity), La Passeggiata archeologica (The Archaeological Stroll) La Conversazione classica (The Classical Conversation) and La Casa degli Efebi (The House of the Ephebes).
The first representation of The Classical Conversation was as a decoration for porcelain urns and cists, with gold inserts that highlight the pure white background, presented at the exhibitions of Monza and Paris in 1925. The complex composition with Classical themes, borrowed from printed catalogs, also brings in decorative elements from La Passeggiata Archeologica, designed by Ponti in 1923.
In La Conversazione Classica, the allegorical figures, alluding to the Arts and translated into Art Deco style, move over a tiled floor, embellished with symbols of Classical times, with vanishing points that add dynamism to the composition. To accompany their rhythmic arrangement over the decorative space, elements of archaeological origin such as obelisks, vases and ruins alternate with reinterpretations of Pompeian paintings, with putti captured in playful poses.
In 1925, Ponti transferred all the subjects that make up this decoration onto a large majolica jar- some figures were then placed on oval and rounded vases. Here the figures are silhouetted against cobalt blue backgrounds in the case of the putto playing with the dog, or against a vaguely Pompeian red as regards the semi-reclining figures.
Majolica Bowl, 6.3"
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More from the Gio Ponti Museum Collection here.
The Richard Ginori Collections are available here.
Gio Ponti was one of the most important architect-designers of the twentieth century. Ponti was notable not only for the tremendous amount of his structures that were built, but also for the mere fact that his career bridged numerous design movements, from the 1925 Art Decoratifs in Paris through the beginnings of the Memphis movement. Ponti's experience arguably made him one of the most knowledgeable of industrial designers and architects- a feat that was further emphasized by his founding and involvement in both Domus and Stile magazines, the latter for over 50 years. Ponti was the subject of a major exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 2018-2019.