This beautiful ceramic plate is presented by Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge, which is owned and run by Paul Vandekar, who will be returning again this year to The Main Line Antiques Show.  The plate is also one of the four signature images of the 2014 Show.

Piero Fornasetti plate

Piero Fornasetti plate

According to the Fornasetti website , the famous Italian artist Piero Fornasetti found the iconic face of Lina Cavalieri as he leafed through a 19th century French magazine and became fascinated with her. Lina Cavalieri (1874 – 1944) was an Italian opera singer, actress and monologist. Taking her as a muse and as a motif, he would return to Lina Cavalieri’s face again and again throughout his career. The archetypal classic female features and enigmatic expression of Lina Cavalieri became Fornasetti’s most frequently used template, and upon which he based more than 350 variations.

Piero Fornasetti considered Lina Cavalieri’s face as another archetype – a quintessentially beautiful and classic image, like a Greek statue, enigmatic like the “Gioconda” and therefore able to take shape into the idea that was slowly building in his mind. It was this formal, graphic appeal (rather than Lina Cavalieri’s celebrity) that demanded such loyalty and inspired the spontaneous and ceaseless creativity of Fornasetti. For him, this face became the ultimate enduring motif. With great modesty all these works were reproduced on a series of everyday objects like the plate. Tema e Variazioni shows its variations playing with one idea.

Lina Cavalieri - the face behind the veil

Lina Cavalieri – the face behind the veil