Arteluce Vintage Log Italian furniture and design gallery Casati Gallery

Arteluce

Italian light manufacturer


Arteluce was a premier Italian lighting company founded in 1939 by the entrepreneurial Italian light designer Gino Sarfatti. Since its inception, Arteluce lighting company developed a new and exciting modernist language in lighting design that endured until the early 1970s. Arteluce lamps, pendants, chandeliers, and other lighting fixtures designed mostly by Gino Sarfatti himself or by Vittoriano Viganò were, and continue to be, highly sought-after due to their innovative designs and the sense of possibility that they inspire. read more

To understand Arteluce, one needs to know about its creative founder Gino Sarfatti. He was born in Venice 1912, into a prosperous family, but when he was 18 years old he moved to Genoa with the dream to study the then new science of aeronautical engineering.

Unfortunately, as the 1930s progressed the political situation in Italy impacted negatively his family’s economic situation and forced Gino Sarfatti to abandon his studies. In the face of this new reality, the young Sarfatti saw an opportunity in designing and making Modernist lighting fixtures that would meet the rapidly changing taste sweeping throughout Italy and Europe at the time.

Gino Sarfatti founds lighting maker Arteluce

His design talent and drive promptly rewarded him with success and, in 1939, Sarfatti moved his manufacturing facility to Milan, founded the lighting studio Arteluce, and opened a new retail shop on the trendy Corso Littorio #12 location—now Corso Matteotti.

In 1943, Gino Sarfatti, whose father was jewish, was forced by the Fascist government to leave Milan and fled with his family to Switzerland. He remotely managed Arteluce with the help of his assistant, Pinuccia Azzaroni Bassani, until he was able to return to Milan with his family in 1946.

Upon Gino’s return to Milan, he developed Arteluce as the premier modern lighting designer  known for its creative style, careful engineering and premium quality. It is estimated that Sarfatti designed between 400 and 700 lighting pieces in his career. This may explain why the Arteluce brand can be found in lamps in an incredibly wide variety of settings, including well-styled homes and apartments, cruise liners, stores, and even the Teatro Regio in Turin.

In 1950, Gino Sarfatti took a long and important trip to the United States.  During his absence, he assigned the artistic directorship of Arteluce to his friend Vittoriano Viganò.  During his tenure, Viganò made important design contributions to Arteluce and some of his most successful designs were for lights with large light cones and articulated arms, such as the his ceiling light Model 2062.

Aretluce consolidates its position as the premier Italian maker of lighting fixtures

Gino Sarfatti understood the importance for the brand and its prestige that the Arteluce shop in Milan had, and, in 1953, he invited the prominent Italian designer Marco Zanuso to completely redesign the shop.  The following year, in 1954, Arteluce was awarded the Grand Prix at the Triennale di Milano (Milan Triennial) for the rollout of the innovative and minimalist floor lamp (Model 1063), with a design centered around a visible fluorescent tubular bulb, which remains popular to this day.   During the later part of the 1950s and until 1973, Arteluce collaborated with the most important Italian designers of the time such as Franco Albini, Franca Helg, Ico Parisi, Vittoriano Viganò, Massimo Vignelli, and Carlo Mollino–for whom Sarfatti designed for the Teatro Regio in Turin the “cloudlike” Nuvola installation within the concert hall.

Gino Sarfatti sells Arteluce to FLOS

By the late 1960s, the complexity of Arteluce’s business had grown considerably and required a much larger managerial workforce. At this time, Gino Sarfatti’s sons and other family members joined the company, but Gino Sarfatti decided to sell Arteluce to Flos in 1973 at the peak of its sales and profits.

Since it has been owned by Flos, the Arteluce brand has not bee

developed as much, and some of the designs in Aerteluce’s portfolio are now sold under the Flos brand worldwide.

Bibliography:

  • Marco Romanelli, Sandra Severi. Gino Sarfatti: Selected Works 1938 – 1973. Silvana. Milan, Italy (2018)
  • Giuliana graninga, Repertorio del Design Italiano 1950-2000 per l’Arrendamiento Domestico. Umberto Allemandi. Turin, Italy (2011)
  • Piero Castiglioni, Chiara Baldaci, Giuseppe Biondo. Lux: Italia 1930-1973. Bernice. Milan, Italy (1991)
  • La Maison Française Magazine. Arteluce, Gino Sarfatti, Triennale Milan. Number 12 (1951)

Last updated: April 7, 2020

Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article by correcting errors, adding updates, or filling important omissions here

Share:

close 

Arteluce's products

Arteluce's products

Arteluce's products

Gino Sarfatti
Desk lamp, model 607

Vittoriano Viganò
Ceiling light, model 2059

Studio BBPR
Plafonnier, model 2045

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1056

Gino Sarfatti and Vittoriano Viganò
Wall light, model 199

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 225

Gino Sarfatti
Rare wall light, model 169/4

Gino Sarfatti
Single wall light

Vittoriano Viganò
Ceiling light model 2062

Franco Albini and Franca Helg
Interior/exterior sconces mod. 267

Gino Sarfatti
Wall lamp model 197

Gino Sarfatti
Table lamp model 543

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 208

Franco Albini and Franca Helg
Ceiling light model 2050

Gino Sarfatti
Table light model 580/B

Gino Sarfatti
Wall lamps model 249

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light model 3010

Gino Sarfatti
Table lamp, model 566

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1056

Gino Sarfatti
Adjustable wall light, model 181

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp model 1050/1

Gino Sarfatti
Chandelier model 2097

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light model 3010

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1056

Gino Sarfatti
Table or wall lamp

Gino Sarfatti
Pair of ceiling lights model 3010

Gino Sarfatti
Floor light model 1067

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp mod. 1033a

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light, model 3053

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 43

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 213

Gino Sarfatti
Wall sconce, model 169/2

Franco Albini and Franca Helg
Ochetta sconces model 3052

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or desk light, model 551/31B

Gino Sarfatti
Pair of wall/ceiling lights, mod. 3031

Gino Sarfatti
Table lamp, model 566

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 211 - pair

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1030

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light, model 3031

Gino Sarfatti
Desk lamp, model 606

Gino Sarfatti
Adjustable floor lamp mod. 1030

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light, model 586/s

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light model 3030

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light, model 3001/50

Gino Sarfatti
Wall lamp, model 218

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light - model 34

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light model 3001/30

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light, model 3001/14

Gino Sarfatti and Vittoriano Viganò
Wall light, model 199

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling lamp model 2049

Gino Sarfatti
Pair of wall lights

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light model 179

Vittoriano Viganò
Ceiling light model 2062

Franco Albini and Franca Helg
Interior/exterior sconces mod. 267

Gino Sarfatti
Wall lamp model 197

Gino Sarfatti
Table lamp model 543

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 208

Franco Albini and Franca Helg
Ceiling light model 2050

Gino Sarfatti
Table light model 580/B

Gino Sarfatti
Wall lamps model 249

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light model 3010

Gino Sarfatti
Table lamp, model 566

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1056

Gino Sarfatti
Adjustable wall light, model 181

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp model 1050/1

Gino Sarfatti
Chandelier model 2097

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light model 3010

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1056

Gino Sarfatti
Table or wall lamp

Gino Sarfatti
Pair of ceiling lights model 3010

Gino Sarfatti
Floor light model 1067

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp mod. 1033a

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light, model 3053

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 43

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 213

Gino Sarfatti
Wall sconce, model 169/2

Franco Albini and Franca Helg
Ochetta sconces model 3052

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or desk light, model 551/31B

Gino Sarfatti
Pair of wall/ceiling lights, mod. 3031

Gino Sarfatti
Table lamp, model 566

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light, model 211 - pair

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model 1030

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light, model 3031

Gino Sarfatti
Desk lamp, model 606

Gino Sarfatti
Adjustable floor lamp mod. 1030

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light, model 586/s

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light model 3030

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light, model 3001/50

Gino Sarfatti
Wall lamp, model 218

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light - model 34

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling light model 3001/30

Gino Sarfatti
Wall or ceiling light, model 3001/14

Gino Sarfatti and Vittoriano Viganò
Wall light, model 199

Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling lamp model 2049

Gino Sarfatti
Pair of wall lights

Gino Sarfatti
Wall light model 179

View More