Carved Stone-White Painted & Gilded Mirror

Italian, Circa 1940's

Born to a furniture builder at the famed Atelier di Varedo, Borsani developed his precocious sense of design during his studies in Fine Art and architecture in Italy in the 1930s. A tendency in his designs for smooth, flowing linear patterns frequently went hand in hand with the designer's eagerness to create furniture which was both beautiful and practical: built to accommodate and facilitate the needs of its users, and to fit naturally and effortlessly into their lives.
Borsani's predilection for curvilinear forms is demonstrated clearly in this parcel-gilt mirror. The original mirror-glass is bordered by a fine trim of gold leaf at the inner edge of the rectangular frame, in a graceful, lace-like pattern. Striated carvings move outwards from the glass, ending in leaf-like, gilt segments which delicately furl inwards to create a rippling effect.
The Baroque-like gilded detail to the frame is evidence of a more ornate style of decoration in mid-century design. The artist Lucio Fontana, with whom Borsani closely collaborated, was particularly fascinated by the spatial explorations made possible with the Baroque style. This fascination can be clearly seen in Fontana's wall decoration, Arlecchini, designed in 1954 for a private apartment in Milan entrusted to the Borsani Design Studio. Clear echoes can be seen in the swirling, playful festoon motifs in this work and the below mirror and dressing table designed by Borsani in 1946, also included in the apartment.
This mirror's graceful detail has an undeniable liveliness to it, suggesting the particular enjoyment of sinuous line and pattern that was so key to Borsani's oeuvre.
References: Lucio Fontana and Osvaldo Borsani From a Private Milanese Residence, Wanda Rotelli, Sotheby's

References: Lucio Fontana and Osvaldo Borsani, From a Private Milanese Residence, Wanda Rotelli, Sotheby's
H 78cm x W 60cm
H 30¾" x W 23¾"
Carved Stone-White Painted & Gilded Mirror_0
Carved Stone-White Painted & Gilded Mirror_0 Carved Stone-White Painted & Gilded Mirror_1 Carved Stone-White Painted & Gilded Mirror_2
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