Eugenio Quarti

Villa d’Almè, Bergamo 1867 — Milan 1926

Eugenio Quarti was one of the most important cabinetmakers and decorators between the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century.

His career began in 1881 when he was just fourteen years old and sent to Paris as an apprentice to a cabinetmaker. Returning to Milan in 1886, he spent a brief period working in Carlo Bugatti’s atelier.

The Salotto (Sitting Room) Set on display at Ca’ Pesaro as part of the Carraro Foundation's collection may be legitimately considered his masterpiece. Quarti’s work was exhibited in all its originality and technical mastery at the 1902 Modern International Decorative Arts Exhibition in Torino. The three-piece set consisting of a table and two chairs, one sofa and two armchairs is an excellent example of the Italian Art Nouveau style, sombre and restrained, especially in comparison with the style of Bugatti.

In embellishing his furniture, Quarti used precious wood and hard-to-work materials like mother-of-pearl, pewter, silver, copper, and bronze. Quarti’s Salotto at Ca’ Pesaro is displayed in all its singularity: a precious landmark on the panorama of Italian decorative arts, along with the other works on display at Castello Sforzesco in Milan and the D’Orsay Museum in Paris.

If the set can still be seen as such today, there is only Francesco Carraro to thank, without whom it would have certainly been broken up on the antiques market.