Woman bust (1922) by Giò Ponti for Richard GinoriSforzesco Castle
Bust of a woman by Gio Ponti and Giorgio Supino, 1923
This sculpture was exhibited at the First International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza in 1923, in a room dedicated to the Richard Ginori factory, which had just hired Gio Pont as art director. It is one of the first acquisitions made by the City of Milan.
Small box (1923 circa) by Alfredo RavascoSforzesco Castle
Small box by Alfredo Ravasco, 1923
Alfredo Ravasco took part in the I Biennale in 1923 as a member of the organising commission. As an exhibitor he presented numerous of his creations in the 'Goldsmiths' Exhibition' section. At the 2nd Biennale of 1925 he also participated as a member of the Artistic Council.
These artefacts, made in Austria and Romania, were exhibited at the 1st International Decorative Arts Exhibition and are an example of how cosmopolitan the vision and context of decorative arts exhibitions was. Alongside national sections divided into regional pavilions, international sections were presented with manufactures from all over Europe. The exhibition thus became an opportunity to compare and update the styles of the various nations.
The two vases by the glass artist and ceramist Marcel Goupy are from Paris and were exhibited as a model of national refinement in the French section at the First International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza in 1923. His glassware is decorated with coloured enamels that echo geometric and floral designs and anticipate the Art Déco style.
Large vase (1922-1923) by Società Ceramica ItalianaSforzesco Castle
Great Vase by Società Ceramica Italiana from Laveno, 1923
Produced in the historic Laveno factory in 1923, this work is still influenced by late 19th century European Japonisme. The vase takes up the forms of the classical Chinese tradition, while the decoration is Japanese-inspired with stylised blue floral patterns.
The Crab (1920-1925) by Ferruccio MengaroniSforzesco Castle
The Crab by Ferruccio Mengaroni, 1925
The second Biennale of 1925 was touched by the death of the ceramist Ferruccio Mengaroni during the installation. Four of his monumental works were exhibited in the Marche regional section, including the Crab, which was later purchased by the City of Milan.
With the artistic direction taken by Guido Andlovitz in the Laveno factory, traditional Lombardy ceramics were rediscovered and a modern production, accessible to all social classes, was launched and succeeded in establishing itself on the market. The floral and figurative decorations on a white background took up the 18th century Lodi tradition, renewing it in synthetic and modern forms.
Cloth mosaics (1927 circa) by Fortunato DeperoSforzesco Castle
Cloth Mosaics by Fortunato Depero, 1927
Fortunato Depero, a leading exponent of the Second Futurism, took part in the third Monza Biennale in 1927 with the design for the Book Pavilion in the garden of the Villa Reale and the Casa d'Arte Futurista in the Triveneta section, where this tapestry was set up.
This tapestry features nine squares of cloth stitched together that propose the repetition of a stylised outline of an automaton and its shadow. The monochrome backgrounds are juxtaposed with strong colour contrasts.
Stations of the Cross. Mocking of Jesus (1926- 1927) by Arturo MartiniSforzesco Castle
Stations of the Cross by Arturo Martini, 1927
For the Ligurian section of the III Biennale in 1927, Arturo Martini presented a Via Crucis with popular and dramatic overtones. The first of its six panels, with Jesus at the column being beaten with canes and stones, was purchased by the City of Milan.
The two cistas were donated in 1930 to the Milanese Civic Collections by the Augusto Richard Foundation. Created with the aim of increasing the collection of ceramics at Castello Sforzesco, it purchased several artworks at the 4th, 5th and 6th Triennale. These porcelains are exceptional examples of the new production of the Richard Ginori factory, directed since 1923 by Gio Ponti, which succeeded in combining the quality of artistic craftsmanship with the seriality of industrial production.
Red Monochrome Vase (1930) by Gio PontiSforzesco Castle
Red Monochrome vase by Gio Ponti, 1930
In 1930 the exhibition became triennial, already called Triennale, and still held in Monza. The vase was purchased in 1930 by the Augusto Richard Foundation from the Richard Ginori factory, after an identical piece was exhibited at the IV Triennale but was immediately sold.
The two stained glass windows came into the Castle's collections after the 4th Monza Triennial Exhibition in 1930. One was purchased, the other donated by the Cappellin house. They were made from the drawing by Mario Sironi and Achille Funi, two of the most significant exponents of the Milanese Novecento art movement that influenced the style of the works presented at the Triennale from 1930 onwards. The two works demonstrate the excellence of early 20th century glass production.
After the Triennale of 1930, it was decided to move the International Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts from Monza to Milan, to the Palazzo dell'Arte built by Giovanni Muzio in Sempione Park and inaugurated on the occasion of the 5th Triennale in 1933. Among the works presented at the first Milan Triennial Exhibition, the five large majolica panels by Dante Morozzi are noteworthy, documenting the growing interest in public art and wall decorations.
From 1923 to 1936, the collections of applied arts at Castello Sforzesco were enriched with over 100 new works, acquired from the Biennali and Triennali of Monza and Milan. The 6th International Triennale of Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1936 was the last at which important acquisitions were made. The glass vase with iron wool from the Crepuscolo series by Ercole Barovier and the vase by the Milanese ceramist Irene Cova constitute exceptional documents of the production of that period.