Designed by Italian master designer Vico Magistretti for Artemide, Eclisse is one of the most significant design products of the 20th century and one of the most recognisable icons of Italian design around the world.
The idea of the lamp was born in 1963 while Magistretti was on the Milan underground thinking about Jean Valijean’s lantern described in Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Miserables.” Magistretti drew the first sketch on the back of the metro ticket, and called his assistant to explain him how to combine a couple of globes.
Eclisse is a table lamp that gives out direct or diffused light and whose concept derives from astronomy, as the name implies, both for its formal and technical features. Thanks to the revolving screen, it allows to darken the light source, thus adjusting the intensity. When the screen is closed, the light source is completely covered, leaving just the outer glare that reminds of a total eclipse. The lamp is made of 3 hemispheres: the base, a fixed outer shell and an inner shell mobile by manual rotation that allows to graduate the emission of light.
Eclisse is based on a simple technology and an aesthetic based on primary shapes. A symbol of design of the ‘Pop’ era of the ’60’s, it’s today part of the permanent collections of La Triennale in Milan, MOMA in New York, Denver Museum of Art, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Montreal and National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. It has been exhibited in the most important museums in the world dedicated to design, contemporary art and furnishings. It won the Compasso D’Oro Award in 1967 and the XIV Triennale of Milan Prize the following year for the formal originality, aesthetic harmony and innovation in lighting and it is still on the Artemide’s catalogue today.
Vico Magistretti was an Italian designer and architect with a strong focus on home and living and an extremely expressive language. He has become one of the undisputed protagonist of the 20th century architectural culture. Besides Eclisse, he designed a number other lamps for Artemide: Mania in 1963, Dalù in 1969, Chimera in 1969, Teti in 1970 and Impiccato in 1972. Among his furniture designs, the Demetrio table in 1966 and Selene chair in 1969 which, together with Panton Universal Chair of Joe Colombo, contends the primacy for the first plastic chair in the world.
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