Tema e Variazioni


The moment when Piero Fornasetti first noticed a photo of the opera singer Lina Cavalieri on the pages of a magazine marks a pivotal point in the artist's output. Transfixed by that face, which he saw as a canon of classical beauty, he began to draw it and reproduce it in an endless series of guises and variations, in what seems a perfect partnership between muse and artist. The two never actually met, but over the years that obsessive act of creating variations on a theme would never abandon Piero and his work. The star of a never-ending mental exercise in transformation, Lina is the focus of the Tema e Variazioni series, which today numbers around 400 variants.

“Fornasetti’s obsession was contagious. It became ours”.

Glenn O’Brien