Although trained as an architect, Bellini is known less for his buildings than for his product designs; he is one of the most influential Italian designers working today. This tea and coffee service, a prototype for the silversmith Cleto Munari, reveals Bellini's strong architectural background. All its elements are reduced to minimal geometry: squares, circles, cylinders, a hemisphere. The abstract severity of the individual pieces is offset by the richness of the materials, and the overall effect is monumental. The tea- and coffeepots, set within palisades of rose-quartz columns, call to mind the peristyles of circular Roman temples. Postmodernist designers customarily refer to a classical past through the use of historical detail. Bellini, however, suggests the discipline of classical architecture through form alone, without using any sort of conventional ornament.
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Barbara Burn, ed. Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 316, ill. (color).