Firenze - ITALY, 1915 - 2011

Marcello Fantoni is perhaps the main representative of the post-war Tuscan ceramic school and a Maestro of Renaissance reminiscences, for his use of ceramics both for craft and artistic products and for making his workshop become a real school.
He first studies were at the Porta Romana Institute in Florence, with Maestros Libero Andreotti, Bruno Innocenti and Carlo Guerrini, the artistic director of the Cantagalli Manufactory. The first drawings for ceramics show a number of different influences: from Gio Ponti, to Guido Andlovitz to stereotypes and futuristic suggestions. In 1936, Fantoni opened the Manifattura Ceramiche Fantoni [Fantoni Ceramic Manufactory] in the stables of Villa Fabbricotti in Florence; he abandoned ornamental decorations to move to the “absolute simplicity of a fine colour on a well-designed form”. During the post-war period, his sculpting activity was more and more characterized by informal elements, enhanced by metallic lustre or high-temp glazings. The suggestions proceeded, now, from the most diverse historical periods and geographical areas, from which he seized the aspects of archaic composition and the expressivity of the material and the colour; these latter would feature in all his future production. Ancient traditions and modernity are combined in a personal execution to highlight the purest and most specific values of the art of ceramics, achieving excellent technical and expressive results. During the 1950s and the 1960s he accomplished some remarkable works in the San Domenico Church in Cagliari, in the Operative Management Building of the Autostrada del Sole motorway in Florence, and in the Michelangelo and Australia passenger ships. In 1957 he moved his studio to Monterinaldi, near Florence, where in 1970 the Scuola Internazionale d’Arte Ceramica [International School of Ceramic Arts]was started, under the patronage of the Ministry of Education.