Teapot and holder

Designer Mario Bellini Italian
Manufacturer Cleto Munari Italian

Not on view

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 teapot and holder, part of a tea and coffee service prototype for the silversmith Cleto Munari, reveal 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. For more information on the individual pieces, refer to MMA 1990.96.1, 1990.96.2, and 1990.91.4ab.

Teapot and holder, Mario Bellini (Italian, born Milan, 1935), Silverplate and rose quartz

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