AN ITALIAN STORY
“Hesperia is the name with which the Greeks originally designated the western lands, in the direction of the sunset (vesper = evening). The name was also used by the Latin poets to indicate Italy.”
Esperia was founded in 1952 in Poggibonsi, Siena, a place full of history, located in the territory of upper Val d’Elsa, at the western spurs of the hills of Chianti.
The venture developed thanks to the initiative of three young friends, Romano Conforti, Eugenio Cortigiano and Mario Moni, who shared previous work experience in the historic SACE glassworks.
From the outset the company had solid ties with the district in Tuscany, long renowned for glassmaking and subsequently also for furniture manufacturing.
At first Esperia produced lighting fixtures for the bath environment, but starting in the 1960s the firm branched out across the whole technical lighting sector, thanks to remarkable structural and productive growth.
During this period Esperia also began a fertile, lasting relationship with Prof. Angelo Brotto.
The first expansions date back to this period, along with the debut of the company at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, with the participation at Euroluce in 1969, the first of a long series. The brand achieved great international acclaim and began to explore new collaborations with leading exponents of the art of glassmaking, such as Venini.
Today Esperia is an example of excellence, engaged on a daily basis in research and development for the creation of innovative contemporary projects.
The firm is now run by the second generation, with the children of Romano Conforti, Riccardo and Giuliana, and the third generation, with Jacopo, driven by a shared design vision projected towards the future.
Esperia’s production is composed of unique “art” lamps crafted and assembled by hand, thanks to the experience gained in over 65 years of history.
The materials, including the brass and crystal of Colle Val d’Elsa, the true distinctive signature of Esperia, are crafted with great skill by the artisans of the district, and represent the starting point for iconic luminous sculptures, as well as custom creations for the retail and contract sectors.
THE CREATIVE DIRECTION OF PROF. ANGELO BROTTO
Esperia’s strong focus on contemporary design led to the important relationship of collaboration with the artist and designer Angelo Brotto (1914 Venice – 2002 Campiglia Marittima).
After taking a degree in 1941 at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, Brotto was an outstanding Italian artist and designer, whose works were shown at various editions of the Venice Art Biennale and other international exhibitions, winning many prizes and honors.
The creative direction of Prof. Brotto began in 1958 and continued for over 20 years, generating an exclusive relationship with Esperia that led to a bond of deep friendship with Romano Conforti.
All the Esperia products created by Angelo Brotto stand out for their refined design, based on an artistic approach that captured the tastes of the era with original forms and juxtapositions.
His work as a creative director, marked by an unconventional approach shaped by his academic background, gave rise to a vast catalogue of lamps, ranging from works of more immediate impact to true works of art of greater complexity.
Some of them – like the Quasars, for example – have become true cult objects over time, coveted by collectors.
During his long collaboration with Esperia, Brotto approached and developed themes involving the use of a wide range of different materials: cast brass, perspex, and especially Murano glass, a preferred material with which Brotto gave form to some of the most important lamps in the collection.
In the early 1970s Esperia consolidated its experimental approaching, presenting a new collection of items at Euroluce made with another artist: Silvano Pulcinelli (1916 Pisa – 1999 Pisa).
A sculptor, graphic artist and ceramist, Pulcinelli studied first at the School of Art of Pisa and then the Art Institute of Florence.
For Esperia he created ceramic bases with shades and sculptures in wood, where the light source mounted on small metal structures enhanced and illuminated almost exclusively the sculpture itself. Observing some of the works of Prof. Pulcinelli today, the artist’s mastery of sculptural gesture clearly stands out.
MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP
The Esperia collection is based on a wide range of fine materials.
Constantly engaged in research on the processing of traditional materials in order to achieve fascinating and unexpected esults, Esperia works with the most important manufacturers specializing in metals (iron, brass and aluminium), crystal and glass.
The exclusive selection includes brass castings, aluminium castings, marble, crystal and Murano glass.
The various types of workmanship call for hand finishing, establishing a close dialogue between the properties of the materials utilized and the final allure of the artifact. The finishes have very different effects, ranging from the most precious – such as gold and silver leaf – to burnishing and brushing performed by hand, all the way to electroplating. Thanks to the solid bond with artistic craftsmanship, every lamp is a unique, inimitable sculpture, in an approach that becomes the distinctive signature of Esperia