You might not be familiar with the concept of stilnovo. Or maybe you think it’s something that belongs to the past.
Well, if you do: shame on you!
Read on and discover Stilnovo wanders of yesterday and today.
The origins of Stilnovo: the literary movement
Stilnovo is an influential Italian poetic movement which developed between 1280 and 1310 in Florence. Its name literally means “new style”. Its aim was to look for a different and more refined way to express one’s own feelings and thoughts, detaching poetry and language from its spread-out vulgar use.
Stilnovo wanted a more elevate and qualitative intellectual effort: thus, its exponents started using metaphors, analogies and wordplays. Not only the writing style was affected by Stilnovo arrival: also content saw a dramatic change. First and foremost, women were at the centre of attention: they evolved towards the image of an “angel-women”, an intermediary between God and man able to elevate male’s desire.
Stilnovo most renowned and significant exponents were Dante Alighieri and Guido Cavalcanti. They belonged to a restricted circle of men, who considered themselves noble not because they were rich or belonged to important, aristocratic families, but rather because they were of kindred, cultural spirits.
Stilnovo today: design meeting modernity
At the beginning of 1300, Stilnovo was already considered outdated.
Literal movements succeeded one another, influenced by historical movements and discoveries.
Nobody used to hear or read about Stilnovo, if not during literature classes. This tendency stopped in 1946, when a new chapter of Stilnovo was about to begin. Freed from its literary structure, it evolved into something different, which had few things in common with 1300.
Bruno Gatta founded Stilnovo in 1946 in Milan, together with a strongly motivated team of Italian businessmen. What does it refer to, what is its core pursuit? Not poetry, neither sublime womanly iconography: till today, in fact, Stilnovo has acquired a significant role in the world of design.
Over the years it has produced works of art investigating and expressing the realm of light and of its different employments. Laboratory and ideas accelerator, Stilnovo has raised the interest of several important design icons, like the magazine Domus. Thus, it soon became a reference point for designers, like Castiglioni, Joe Colomgo, Roberto Beretta and Gae Aulenti who have created unforgettable pieces of art for the Milanese design house.
Among them, Lucetta: a table or wall lamp, made of white plastic material, finished with black rubber and originated by the genius mind of Cini Boeri in 1974.
And again, Triedro, the black and white lamp available for both wall and ground and conceived in 1970 by Joe Colombo.
After a period of decline, Stilnovo gained back its fame and achieved a new method and structure, thanks to the creation of the scientific committee which revaluated Stilnovo former aims, creations and set the path for new purposes. The scientific committee is composed of several important Italian figures, like journalist Carugati, designer critic Fiorato, art -director Morace and Milanese architect Premoli. The team has already produced a manifesto which compiles the movement’s main aesthetic criteria and defines the reconstruction of iconic past objects into more modern accessories.
What does Stilnovo has in common with the 1300 literary movement? Nothing but the name?
No: it shares its elegance, subtle yet incisive way of revolutionizing things. No matters the field.
As its manifesto says: Stilnovo philosophy “starts with the name, which is a promise for the future, as well as a guarantee from the past: from the Dolce Stil Novo of Dante, Guinizelli, Cavalcanti up to the designs of Joe Colombo and Sottsass from the 60s. Proposing products that are unique, universal and attractive carriers of essential quality and originality.”
Credits photos: www.stilnovoitalia.it/en/