I can’t remember the first time I saw the face of Lina Cavalieri (a famous soprano who sang opposite the great tenor voices of the early 20th century in New York's Metropolitan Opera) but what I do remember is that I have never forgotten her face.
Neither did Piero Fornasetti (1913 - 1988) who I’m not sure ever met Cavalieri, but saw her face in a magazine, and apparently couldn't erase it from his mind. He just kept painting it - on no fewer than 500 of his design works.... my favourite of which are the plates – which at about $250 a pop stop me from having a wall of them…..instead I have this set of canvas’s that I picked up from a stall at the Shirt & Skirt Market years ago when it was in East St Kilda.
It was one of those moments where by from quite a distance away I spotted them and I was off….making a bee-line to claim them for my own. They now live on the mantle-piece in our living room and every time I walk into the room – Lina’s there, with her classic beauty and enigmatic smile.