tavola villa necchi

Gio Ponti’s table triumph

by Elisa Mondani.

A project signed by the great master, on display for the first time in the temple of Milanese Art Deco: a reminiscent mise en place full of details, which tells of the histrionic genius of the designer and of Italian manufacturing art.

The FAI and the Richard Ginori Archive Museum Foundation of the Doccia Manifattura present Gio Ponti‘s “Centerpiece for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” with an exceptional display at Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan until 28 January 2024. The elegant table triumph, commissioned at the end of the 1920s by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to decorate the tables of diplomatic offices on highly representative occasions, it was designed by Gio Ponti in collaboration with Tomaso Buzzi and modeled by Italo Griselli for Richard Ginori.

table triumph gio ponti

It is a true sculptural creation, composed of forty-one elements made of white porcelain and painted in gold agate by Elena Diana, the most skilled executor of this technique at the Doccia Manifattura, which reinterpret the sumptuous neoclassical centerpieces in Art Deco taste which imitated the plug of a Roman circus.

porcelain sculpture vase

The gaze is captured by the allegory of Italy, depicted with a dress that reveals her long-limbed forms while she is lying on a shell embellished with drapes, pearls, corals and crustaceans and surrounded by mirrors that give the illusion of the surface of the sea. A series of other sculptures taken from the ancient repertoire completes the composition, such as the sea horse, the putto riding a dolphin or the dog biting a snake, in a play of references to Italian history and nature.

dog porcelain sculpture gio ponti

It is the first time that it has been exhibited in a house museum, resuming its original function as a scenographic table decoration, in perfect dialogue with the stuccos rich in naturalistic motifs by Piero Portaluppi, which decorate the ceiling of the dining room of the Milanese villa. Returning art objects to their original context is in fact part of the cultural policy of the FAI, which deals with maintaining and narrating historic homes also through the valorization of works of art, furnishings and objects.

Visitors will also be able to appreciate the collection of ceramics at Villa Necchi Campiglio, some of which were signed by Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori, and will be accompanied by a podcast on the history of the centerpiece by Olivia Rucellai, head curator of the Ginori Museum.

set table villa necchi

In view of the holidays, special guided tours will be organized dedicated to the setup, the traditions of the house and the story of the work on display, entrusted to professional guides trained by the FAI, who will also focus on the collection of origin, namely the Ginori Museum , now managed by the Ministry of Culture and which has a unique collection in the world of precious porcelain, monumental sculptures and wax and plaster casts, as well as a collection of more than 400 works designed by Gio Ponti.

table richard ginori gio ponti sculptures porcelain

Where: Villa Necchi Campiglio – via Mozart 14, Milan
When: 6 December 2023/28 January 2024
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Entrance: info and tickets available on the Fondoambiente.it

website Photo Barbara Verduci 2023 © FAI

porcelain table sculpture

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