PIERO GHERARDI – Set Designer
(Poppi, Arezzo, 1909 – Roma, 1971)
A famous set and costume designer and a professional interior designer, he entered the world of cinema after the war working on the costumes and sets of some of Mario Soldati’s movies starting from 1946. His technique was extremely flexible and allowed him to face the most diverse situations; everywhere he worked he clearly showed his refined and sumptuous taste, capable to create enchanting atmospheres. In 1953 he worked on the set of Anni Facili (Easy Years) by Luigi Zampa, that marked the start of his collaboration with Federico Fellini.
After a first contact for Le notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria) (1957), he worked on the costumes and scenes of La dolce vita (1960) and 8 e ½ (1963) contributing to create a sensation of surreal dream that characterized the two films and winning two Oscar awards.
«He will be working again together with Fellini with an even free running sense of imagination for the film Giulietta degli Spiriti (Juliet of the Spirits) (1965), an authentic celebration of impossible dreams, among multi colored veils, walls tinted with bright colors, mirrors, beds, an infinite array of knickknacks». Gherardi displayed a different mood, but with analogies to the previous works, in the making of a cycle of two advertising spots for Carosello (10 short films) he worked on in 1966 for Barilla Pasta, featuring Mina as a protagonist. His costumes were dreamy and based on the world of fantasy, but always refined and elegant and were tailored by Gabriele Mayer, who also chose a bare environment for the sets to give the diva that from time to time appeared as a sensual, or a light heart woman or a mysterious icon.
He later worked with Mario Monicelli on L’armata Brancaleone (For love and Gold or The Incredible Army of Brancaleone) and with Luigi Comencini in Infanzia, vocazione e prime esperienze di Giacomo Casanova veneziano (Casanova, The Young Years – literally “Young age, vocation and first experiences of Giacomo Casanova of Venice”) (1969). Gherardi, with his rich inventive and profound sensibility can be rightly considered on of the people who gave a modern aspect to the art of set designing in Italy