Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: Renzo Mongiardino: A Painterly Vision



THE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO: A Painterly Vision by Martina Mondadori Sartogo and the Editors of Cabana, Rizzoli New York, 2017

Renzo Mongiardino is a design legend, celebrated for his rooms which were filled with the theatricality of glorious trompe-l'oeil finishes, the finest of the finest antiques, and the most luxurious of designer fabrics. Opulence could have very well been Renzo's middle name. His rooms created a mood, by whatever means necessary. Though his rooms were wrought with priceless antiques and rare fabrics, the predominant element of his designs were his ingenious trompe-l'oeil finishes. Rooms of intricate mosaics were often nothing more than paint, walls of a marble parlor actually only marble-patterned paper.

He had a slew of wealthy clients, Lee Radziwill, Gianna Versace, Randolph and Veronica Hearst, and The Rothschild Family to name a few. He had the imagination of an artist, and a formal Italian education in architecture and set design, the best of pairings in what became a brilliant career.

In this new book, A Painterly Vision, published by Rizzoli, pages and pages of beauty created at the hands of Mongiardino are beyond inspiring. They are provocative and exciting, sure to infuse the creativity in all of us with an exhilarating spark. Take a look: 

THE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO: A Painterly Vision by Martina Mondadori Sartogo and the Editors of Cabana, Rizzoli New York, 2017

THE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO: A Painterly Vision by Martina Mondadori Sartogo and the Editors of Cabana, Rizzoli New York, 2017

THE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO: A Painterly Vision by Martina Mondadori Sartogo and the Editors of Cabana, Rizzoli New York, 2017

THE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO: A Painterly Vision by Martina Mondadori Sartogo and the Editors of Cabana, Rizzoli New York, 2017

THE INTERIORS AND ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO: A Painterly Vision by Martina Mondadori Sartogo and the Editors of Cabana, Rizzoli New York, 2017

All Photos by Guido Taroni, provided by Rizzoli New York

Mongiardino died in Italy at the age of 81. A wealthy and scholarly elitest, Mongiardino was like most artists in that he lived a unique, almost bohemian, eccentric life. He was noted to have said, "I'm a creator of ambiance, a scenic designer, an architect but not a decorator." 

Beyond his interior design contributions, you may have also seen his work in the 1966 version of "Taming of the Shrew", and 1967 version of "Romeo and Juliet", both by director Franco Zerffirelli. Design for the wealthy elite soon eclipsed his endeavors on stage and in film, but Mongiardino still never thought thought of himself as a decorator, rather a romanticist, creating ambiance and scenes. 

Mongiardino worked until the day he passed away. His design studio stayed open through the end of that year, and the teams of talented artists, painters, carpenters, and apprentices worked diligently to finish his final projects. His personal collections and art were sold at auction after his death, by his only daughter. With this new book by Rizzoli, you can take a last look into the beautiful world Renzo Mongiardino created, and left for all to be inspired by. A humble offering to one of the most talented creators of ambiance who ever lived.

Buy your copy via the Amazon link below: