Paulo de Poli (19051996)

Paulo de Poli is perhaps the most famous Italian enamellist of the 20th century. After an early training in drawing and metal engraving at the art school Pietro Selvatico of Padua and in oil painting in the studio of the Trentini painters in Verona, he began his career as portrait and landscape painter. It was only when travelling in the 1930s that he became fascinated by the traditional art of vitreous enamel. From 1933 he began experimenting with creating decorative objects using enamel on metal and he had soon not only mastered the craft but improved existing techniques. By the 1940s he was collaborating with Gio Ponti to produce furniture and decorative panels. Their collaboration led to a stunning range of sculptural designs. In addition to producing objects such as vases, bowls, trays, plates, cups, plaques and doorhandles in enamel on copper, de Poli also worked on large panels for decorating interiors in Italy and abroad. Some of these works were produced in collaboration with the greatest artists and architect-designers of the time, such as Gio Ponti, Gugliemo Ulrich, Melchiorre Bega, Filippo De Pisis, Bruno Saetti, Gino Severini and Roberto Aloi.