The Futuristic Edge of Filippo Romoli’s Italian Art Deco

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Art Deco with a Futurist Touch

Filippo Romoli (1901-1969) was a prominent Italian illustrator and poster artist of the 20th century known for his distinctive Art Deco style, Novecento taste, and futuristic graphic design. He made significant contributions to tourism, advertising, culture, and sports through his collaboration with prestigious organizations, companies, and industries.

Filippo Romoli was born in Savona, Italy, in 1901. From a young age, he displayed a passion for drawing and painting, which he nurtured while working as a technical draftsman at the Società Elettrica Monte Aiona. In 1926, he joined the Barabino & Graeve Graphic Industries Company in Genoa, marking the beginning of his career as a commercial artist.

Romoli’s early works included creating posters for the main seaside resorts in Liguria, such as Alassio, Rapallo, Varazze, Santa Margherita, Ventimiglia, Bordighera, and Diano Marina. He also designed posters for various cultural, sporting, musical, and folkloric events in these vacation destinations.

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After a stint in Paris in 1932, Romoli resumed his work with Barabino & Graeve and began collaborating with Società Lazzi Gran Turismo, where he managed their advertising campaigns for over two decades. His contributions included designing the company logo, uniforms for hostesses and drivers, and furnishings for their Genoa headquarters at Piazza De Ferrari.

In 1936, he transitioned to S.A.I.G.A., which had acquired Barabino & Graeve. He continued to excel in the fields of tourism and advertising, collaborating with tourism boards from various Italian regions and prominent shipping companies such as Cosulich, Lauro, Home Lines, ALI-Flotte Riunite Italiane, CIT Viaggi, and AVIS. In industrial advertising, he worked with notable companies like Marelli, Berio, Gaslini, Negroni, and Galbani.

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Woman and Child Take Shelter from the Sun under a Tent on a Beach (Manifesto)
Woman and Child Take Shelter from the Sun under a Tent on a Beach (Manifesto), source

Filippo Romoli was distinguished by his graphic synthesis, masterful use of color and light, and a keen sense of composition and movement. His posters possessed a modern aesthetic and conveyed a strong communicative power. While influenced by Art Deco, Novecento, and futuristic graphic design, he also adapted his style to meet the needs of clients and contemporary trends.

His artworks found their way into numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad, earning a place in important public and private collections. Romoli’s artistic legacy continued to influence graphic design and poster art.

Battle of Flowers in Ventimiglia
Battle of Flowers in Ventimiglia, source. The Battaglia di Fiori, or popularly known as the Battaglia dei Fiori, is a floral float parade held annually in Ventimiglia during the second half of the month of June. The initial editions of this event, often impromptu in nature, date back to the early 20th century and were generally organized to celebrate Carnival or the arrival of spring. It was only from 1930 onwards that the parade began to take on an official character, complete with regulations and a regular schedule. During this period, it became associated with the Biennial Floriculture Exhibition, which had reached its third edition in 1930.

Filippo Romoli passed away in Genoa in 1969, leaving behind a valuable artistic legacy. In 2013, his heirs loaned a portion of his posters and sketches to the Wolfsoniana in Genoa Nervi. This institution is a museum dedicated to decorative and figurative arts, architecture, industrial design, and 20th-century propaganda art.



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