Tomaso Buzzi

Sondrio 1900 — Rapallo, Genova 1981

Architect, designer, restorer, and interior decorator, Tomaso Buzzi was one of the Novecento’s most multifaceted figures. His entire working life amounted to a constant attempt to capture the lights, reflections, and opalescence of the Venice lagoon and its colours submerged, layered, and overlapping.

After graduating in engineering/architecture from the Regio Istituto Tecnico Superiore in Milan, his professional career began in the Novecento group, particularly with Gio Ponti, with whom he organized various national and international events centred on the applied arts.. In 1927, he was one of the founders of the Il Labirinto Association established to promote new decorative art in Italy. In 1928, he made an important trip to Brazil and began writing for Domus.

Tomaso Buzzi was once of the principal exponents of Italian Art Deco during the 1920s and ‘30s, putting his tireless hand to the design of an extended series of objects: ceramics, picture frames, pillows, table sets and bedroom sets, lacework, furniture, timepieces, carpets, but mostly glassware. As the art director at Venini & C. from 1932 to 1934, he experimented with shapes and materials never used before, thanks also to the attention he gave to the productions of Paolo Venini, Pietro Chiesa and Giulio Rosso. In 1933, he took part in the Milan Triennale. He was one of the architects and decorators in greatest demand by Italy’s bourgeoisie and aristocracy from the 1930s to the ‘50s, and as such was commissioned to make important interventions, such as in Villa Maser and Villa Necchi. In these years he also taught Real Life Drawing at Milan Polytechnic.

From 1956 on, he began reducing his professional engagements in order to dedicate himself to restructuring and enlarging La Scarzuola, an ancient Franciscan convent he had purchased in Umbria for his retirement.